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!

Advertisements

~ by photographyfree4all on November 19, 2010.

38 Responses to “ADD SCALE TO YOUR LANDSCAPES – Photography Tip #12”

  1. I just find it amusing, that someone, would actually try and get into your photo shot. But, it did happen to me, and our family, once, in Florida, we were going to take a photo, by the ocean, and had it all set up, on the beach, and usually, people walked by, would try to go around….Not this person, and it did seem obvious. But it also seemed rude. Oh well. Gotta forgive people, and not get annoyed….or that will show in the photo!!

    Like

  2. Hi Steve,

    You are so right, Steve. If you’re going to photo of something like this, it really is necessary to put something in to show perspective. And you did just that, and a fine job, too. It inspired me to write a “companion” post on the subject in my blog today. It will another take on the subject.

    Bob

    Like

  3. I don’t know. People run from me when they see the camera. 🙂 Seriously, good point and stunning photo to illustrate it.

    Like

  4. You always give me something meaningful to think about regarding photography. Good post!

    Like

  5. I guess it’s like the people in the background when the news is filming a story – you know, they’re waving and mouthing words. They don’t realize that some of the time they present a rather unique photo opportunity! Thanks for sharing this comment, Elena! I’m really glad you stopped by today.

    Like

  6. That’s great, Bob! I’ll have to jump over there and give it a read. I guess this doesn’t apply to bird photography, huh Bob? 🙂

    Thanks for leaving your comment Bob! They’re always great!

    Like

  7. HAHA! That’s funny, Karen! Sometimes, that’s what my family does when I get the camera out of the bag! Talk about emptying a room fast! 🙂

    Like

  8. I honestly just love it!! I mean the whole shot itself, and how mist makes it even more beautiful and mysterious, in a way.

    And I completely agree with the comment above..when people all of a sudden simply vanish when they notice camera! Haha.. I wonder why they sometimes want to become celebrities so much..: )

    Like

  9. That is an amazing picture. Wow. I really love that.

    Like

  10. Thank you for this wonderful compliment, Jolene! I love it when I brought to thought by something or someone. I always grow from those experiences. Thank you for stopping by and sharing this comment.

    Like

  11. Thank you, Dragonfly! This became a very interesting shot when the fog rolled in to simply add that element of mystery! Photographing people is always an adventure, whether portrait or candid! I love it! Thank you for a great comment!

    Like

  12. I hope I will remember this the next time I’m taking a landscape photo. Thanks.

    Like

  13. Thanks for the compliment, just run! I’m glad your knee is recovering well! So glad you stopped by today.

    Like

  14. I’m sure you will, heather. For the longest time, I tried to get these great shots with absolutely no one in the frame. I still try to do that at times because the scene is just more effective with the absence of people. But, most of the time I just try to become creative with the people there. It’s a fun challenge. So glad to hear from you, heather.

    Like

  15. Hey, Steve, I’m just happy to get the birds in the middle of the view finder. 🙂

    Bob

    Like

  16. And, you do such a great job of that, Bob! Check out his calendar, folks! I’m getting mine!

    Like

  17. You are absolutely right about including people! I have recently taken a look at some of my own photos, and realized that it is very difficult to tell just how big something is without a person in the shot! I have to try to remember this for the future….

    Like

  18. Thank you, Holly! I didn’t realize it at first, but have since placed many people in my shots – particularly when I’m trying to show scale. I’m glad you shared this comment! I really appreciate it.

    Like

  19. That’s so true, Steve! People can definitely make a difference when it comes to scale. Also, in urban settings, I find it can help to give it a sense of reality.
    This is a great example. It’s an excellent shot but without the surfer it would probably seem bland. Another great thing in this shot that the surfer adds, imo, is that sense of time, that moment of hesitation: is he getting in now, in a minute, will he try somewhere else?…
    Very interesting post!

    Like

  20. I think I’ve mentioned in the past how much I like this shot – the person doesn’t merely add scale, but provides a sense of story to the picture.

    As for including people, I couldn’t agree more. In so many of my favourite pictures (like http://journeyphotographic.com/2010/09/13/tate-modern-london/ , for reference) it’s the addition of the human element which really drives home the scale of the subject – without it, the impact is lost.

    Like

  21. Thank you, Kai! And, you’re absolutely right about the interest factor people can add. Landscape photography can seem beautiful, but after a while it almost seems like it “sometimes” needs an element of additional interest. This is a great comment, kai! I really appreciate it.

    Like

  22. About the calendar, Steve. Just e-mail me your address and I’ll get it off to you. 🙂

    Bob

    Like

  23. Great tip and great photo to illustrate your point. 🙂

    Like

  24. This is a great comment, Journey! And, the photograph you included with the link was amazing! I would have never realized the enormity of that scene without the people. they almost look like miniatures! Let me encourage everyone to take a look at it! Thanks for jumping in with this comment and the link. When everyone participates, everyone benefits! Thanks for sharing this information! I really appreciate it.

    Like

  25. heh, good hit, I just recently started doimg this 🙂
    Autumn in castle Ambras park

    Like

  26. Thanks, Robin! there are a couple of other examples in the comments that show excellent scale, as well! Bob Zeller and Journey Photography both have amazing samples on their blogs! Thank you for your comment! I always appreciate them.

    Like

  27. Hey, thanks Bob!!

    Like

  28. It can really make a difference, Anna! I’m glad you shared this comment today!

    Like

  29. I do everything I can to stay out of someone else’s shot, but the other day we were waiting for a photographer and she said,”Actually, I wanted to get a shot of your shadows.” I was so surprised.

    You’re right about including people for scale–took me years to realize that. 🙂

    Like

  30. That’s happened to me too, Miss Pearl! I’ve had some people move and I actually was trying to include them in the frame. Thank you for sharing your comment here. I really appreciate your input!

    Like

  31. Thanks for illustating a good point in this post! By the way: I am updating my links these days – and have added you there – OK?!!

    Like

  32. Sure, I’m Ok with that, Truels! I feel honored! I always appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by.

    Like

  33. Great tip, thanks. I too, am guilty of waiting until there are no people to try and get that perfect shot so now I’ll give your tip a try.

    Like

  34. True, I like to have wildlife in my landscape shots like deer.. great shot of the peir..:-)

    Like

  35. Thanks for sharing this comment, Gwyn! I’m glad you’re going to try this. Of course, there may be landscapes that just need to stand alone – their beauty needs no distraction. But, many times adding people makes a great shot even better. Maybe you’ll let us know how it worked out! I’m always glad when you stop by!

    Like

  36. That’s a great point, Ed! It doesn’t necessarily have to be people. Animals will work just as well! Thanks for sharing your idea, Ed! That’s what this is all about. People sharing their photography experience and expertise! So glad you jumped in today!

    Like

  37. Great great picture. And great tip, something I was never aware of before. Thanks!

    Like

  38. I hope it helps your photography, Sunflower. If you do try it, I hope you’ll let me know. Really glad you stopped by. I always appreciate your comments.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: