Choosing The Shot: Body Posture

Andrew Beck Andrew Leave a Comment

For many photographers, the hardest part of their work-flow comes down to choosing the images that will “make it through to the next round” for editing purposes. This is a crucial part of any digital work-flow, and being able to cull the 40 or so images from that awesome cheetah sighting you witnessed down to a handful of images can be a tough process.

In this series of blog posts, I will run through some of the criteria that I like to use when working through and selecting my best images from sightings.

So far I have touched on selecting only images which you are sure are sharp and in focus, how the devil is in the detailimplying movement, and birds in flight. You should already be picking up a trend that it really does come down to the small details when choosing a single “best image” out of a sequence of images.

The following sequence of images of two elephant bulls fighting was taken during a Chobe Photographic Safari. Looking through the image sequence, which one would you choose?

Choosing the Shot Wild Eye Andrew Beck

Image 1

Choosing the Shot - Posture & Position-2

Image 2

Choosing the shot Andrew Beck Wild Eye

Image 3

Choosing the shot Andrew Beck Wild Eye

Image 4

Choosing the shot Andrew Beck Wild Eye

Image 5

Choosing the shot Andrew Beck Wild Eye

Image 6

Its not easy at first glance is it? They are all very similar! Lets look a bit deeper though.

Image one is great but there is not eye contact with either of the subjects, I would eliminate this image straight away. Now lets pay special attention to the way that the shadows cast by the elephant on the left of the frame falls across both of the subjects.

In image 2, Image 3 and Image 4 there is quite a strong Shadow falling across the face of the elephant on the left, and onto the body of the elephant on the right. In Image 5 and Image 6 we can actually see a bit more light falling onto the elephant . Its not much but I do think it makes a difference. I do like the position of the ear in Image 4 and feel that it adds to the mood of the image so, despite the strong shadow, I’ll keep it in my top 3.

Comparing these three images now, I lean towards Image 4 and Image 5 as there is a bit more separation between the trunks and the curled tail shows the tail hair quite nicely. So, we have 2 images which are very similar now! Rather than making the call on which one to choose, I’ll leave it up to you guys:

Which of these two images would you choose to keep and why?

Choosing the shot Andrew Beck Wild Eye

Image 4

Choosing the shot Andrew Beck Wild Eye

Image 5

Leave us a comment with your thoughts below!

Comments 0

  1. Simon

    My choice would be image 4. I think the trunk position is more balanced and I prefer the ear forward slightly. I’d probably use Lightroom to try to lift the shadow over the face of the Elephant on the left. I also think the Tusks are sharper in Image 4, clinching it for me.

  2. Philippa Castle

    I choose image no. 4 because the elephant action is really the best, in my opinion, and the flared tail on the elephant on the right is just too cute. The trunks are crossed delightfully and the eye contact with the elephant on the right is great. The lighting seems a little warmer too.

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  3. Fred Brabander

    I would choose image #5. Because the tail on the right elephant shows movement, also the legs on the left elephant show movement you can clearly see he is pushing forward.

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