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Posted on Feb 20, 2013 in Short Strikes
Posers
by Dr. Todd Kuhn
photo-poses
Clockwise from top left: the big fish grip; the reverse big fish grip; the preening shot; and an honest pose.

I'm a photo geek. I've got some really expensive gear that takes horribly bad pictures in mind-bogglingly high-resolution. I used to have cheap equipment that snapped equally poor pictures. After determining it was the equipment (couldn't be the guy behind the camera), I plunked down large coin for top-shelf stuff. Hmmm, somehow the pictures didn't improve.

Now I've had the pleasure of rubbing elbows with some legit photo pros over the years. When I do, I try to soak in their wisdom. I remain hopeful I'll glean that one tidbit of knowledge that'll transform my tragic compositions into masterpieces. When hanging out with these pros, I'll show them I'm a pro too by dropping an occasional "macro," "foveon sensor," or my personal favorite—"purple fringing" into the conversation. Then I'll nod slowly like what I said somehow made sense.

I have a question though: Why is it we try to make our fish look more impressive than they are in pictures? Somehow, fishermen have morphed into a group of posers. For instance, what's up with the "big fish grip?" That pose where the fish is stretched out at arm's length toward the camera making it look like something from a Sci-Fi thriller.

Back in the black-and-white days, fishing folks held their prizes modestly. I call those yesteryear poses the "reverse big fish grip." In these, our ancestors kept the fish pulled in close. Then there's the "preening shot." Here, fishermen fondle their fish oddly hoping to make it look better.

Isn't it time we collectively agree to hold our fish naturally? No preening shots, no big fish grips, and even, no reverse big fish grips. Just an honest pose?