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In English, when we want someone to direct their gaze in a certain direction in order to take a photo, for example, or to see a specific angle of their face, we tell them to look over here, look that way, look at me, etc. Can (по)смотреть (or (an)other *смотр or *гляд verb(s)) be used in this way, or is there a more idiomatic way to express this in Russian?

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  • In English there is look, watch, glance, stare, etc. – Anixx Sep 24 '16 at 16:16
  • @Anixx: not quite. If you want someone to face the camera, for example, you can't say "glance here" or "stare at me" - I don't think you read my post :) – CocoPop Sep 24 '16 at 18:09
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    the same is in Russian. – Anixx Sep 24 '16 at 19:31
  • @Anixx: Alrighty then! I guess I just didn't understand why you were answering my question about a specific subset of Russian verbs in a specific usage by giving me general list of verbs that exist in my own language :) – CocoPop Sep 25 '16 at 12:35
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The most commom verbs meaning "look here, at me"are

смотри,смотрите сюда, посмотрите сюда.

If you are inviting to look at something, you say

смотри-ка,посмотри на это,глянь сюда,глянь-ка на него (very colloquial ) взгляни,взгляните на это,гляди (often used by people in villages,but rarely in cities now),погляди на него.

When someone takes pictures, he usually says,especially to children:

Внимание,сейчас вылетит птичка!(When you say 'Say "cheese"!).

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To make someone look in the certain direction verbs of the root -смотр- and -гляд- can be used. The most often used here will be смотреть like "посмотри вот туда", "смотри, как красиво".

СМОТРЕТЬ, смотрю, смотришь; смотренный; несов.
1. на кого-что и на что. Направлять взгляд, чтобы увидеть кого-что-н., глядеть.
Смотреть на собеседника.
Смотри в окно.

There is a collocation "смотровая площадка", which means "площадка для осмотра местности" (a viewing area).
Посмотреть can also be used in that same sense.

Глядеть is another way of directing someone's gaze; although in some cases it may sound as a bit deprecated, it has mostly the same meaning. A way to use it is:

Взгляни, какой красивый вид! Look what a beautiful view!

There are other ways to express something like admire; they may depend on situation, used vocabulary and society. For example:

Полюбуйтесь, каков вид!

Только взгляните, до чего красиво!

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глядеть is too dialectic and means rather to stare in order to perceive and not with a kind of a blank disinterested stare, therefore not

посмотреть is OK like in

смотри на меня

as well as повернуть голову (towards certain direction or object) for taking a shot

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  • Thank you! By the way, I didn't mean глядеть specifically, I meant any derivative of the root -гляд-. – CocoPop Sep 24 '16 at 12:49
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    technically one can say взгляни-ка вон туда, а-ну сейчас погляди-ка на меня but it may sound a bit pretentious and playful unless the word глядеть is a part of the speaker everyday vocabulary, that's just because the word itself is antiquated – Баян Купи-ка Sep 24 '16 at 12:57

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