ADD SCALE TO YOUR LANDSCAPES – Photography Tip #12
When I began photographing landscapes, I worked very hard and was extremely patient for the sole purpose of capturing the shot without including any people. In many situations, that was difficult at best. And in other circumstances, it became impossible. In retrospect, I’m not sure what I was thinking. Here I was frequenting some of the most popular places in southern California – of course there’s going to be people everywhere. And oftentimes when someone notices you’re taking pictures, they’ll intentionally move into your shot. I never really understood that, but it’s happened to me on a number of occasions.
People will better grasp the magnificence of your landscape when they can grasp the enormity of the scene. Notice how the surfer in the photograph below adds a sense of scale to the shot. You may not realize the enormity of the pier if the surfer was not present in the scene.
Adding people to a landscape image can provide both a focal point for the eye and perspective to the overall composition. Often, without a person, it may be difficult to grasp the overall scale of a scene. By including something that has a familiar size, the brain immediately recognizes the scale and tells you what you’re viewing. If you have someone with you, don’t hesitate to position them in the frame for some of your shots.
In addition to scale, people can also add an element of interest to the scene. In this shot, the surfer causes you to wonder if he decides to take the plunge or call it a day because of the fog. But be careful. You don’t want anything to distract from the beauty of the landscape.
Of course, we all know in photography there are really no hard-fast rules. So, feel free to shoot your scenes both ways and select the best.
I’m glad you stopped by today!