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Chapter 6. Improving Image Quality While... > Conveying a sense of scale in your p...

Conveying a sense of scale in your photographs

Have you ever photographed a stunning landscape and found your final image lacked the impact of the original scene? Or, have you ever tried to capture the overwhelming size of a really huge object and ended up making it look less than impressive? The problem may be that the sense of scale in the shot was never defined, so the viewer has no frame of reference with which to be wowed by your shot. There are many types of shots that can benefit from a sense of scale—from architectural photography to vacation snapshots—but learning how to create and control a sense of scale is part of becoming a better photographer.

A person can help convey scale

One of the most common methods for including a sense of scale in photographs is to include a person in your shot. As an instantly recognizable form, a human figure allows a viewer to gauge the figure's size with the other elements of your scene. This is particularly effective when shooting landscapes, whose vastness often lacks a visual anchor to hold the shot together. As shown in Figure A, the small boy fishing not only offers a sense of open space in front of him, but also a sense of the place itself.


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