Adding a sense of scale

posted on 20th of february, 2012

I love to shoot landscapes - I'm fortunate in that I currently live in a very scenic Australian State where landscape photography is a must.

At times, it's difficult to convey a sense of scale with an image - I know the depth and breadth and height because I can see it with my eyes, but I can't necessarily convey that to someone who is viewing my photo.

One technique to give your images a sense of scale is to bring people into them, because people give us a familiar point of reference - we know the approximate size of a human being therefore it completes the picture and gives a sense of the true proportions of a landscape.

This also works for indoor and outdoor architecture. Notice the difference between these images and how easy it is to grasp the scale and size of what we're looking at when humans are in the photo.

If you browse through the images below, you will notice that we get a much clearer understanding of the size of the largest elements in each when we can see people.

So next time you pack up your camera for some landscapes or architectural shots, makes sure you snap a few images with one or more people in it - they will add just that little bit more to the story you wish to tell with your photos.

© Tbel (Help)
© Vasca (Help)

Comments (23)

Posted by Jonkio4 on May 04, 2012
thanks for sharing :)
Posted by Hanbaoluan on March 27, 2012
Scenery pictures very beautiful!
Posted by Serjedi on March 09, 2012
Amazing pic, great blog, thanks for sharing..
Posted by Onime on February 27, 2012
nice pictures. Great blog :)
Posted by Pxlxl on February 24, 2012
Thanks And congrats!
Posted by Joezachs on February 23, 2012
Wow.... some marvelous pictures here.
Yes that is true about bringing in people into it. Really gives one the enormity of the size of the surroundings.
Posted by Cristalloid on February 23, 2012
you are so right! but unfortunatly you will need a model release in some cases
Posted by Boti1 on February 22, 2012
Great article, thank you very much for the advice
Posted by Vwimage on February 22, 2012
Useful tip thanks Tamara. Nice choice of comparisons too. I tend to avoid people in most of my shots for the convenience of not having to obtain a model release, but I guess if they're distant & unrecognisable then a model release is not needed, and it certainly helps to add depth to an image. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by Digitalvox on February 21, 2012
Great images! "Modern corridor" is my fav one:-)
Posted by Egomezta on February 21, 2012
Your images are amazing, congratulations.
Posted by Ewamewa2 on February 21, 2012
very interesting:)
Posted by Baldas1950 on February 21, 2012
Very interesting blog and good suggestions!
Posted by Mariaam on February 21, 2012
Very interesting blog! Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Akulamatiau on February 21, 2012
love your tips. Thanks
Posted by Tamarabauer on February 20, 2012
Hope the tips are useful - please note too, the examples I used are from other contributors, they aren't from my own portfolio :)
Posted by Laqhill on February 20, 2012
Great tip to remember. Thank you. Also you have a great portfolio.
Posted by Jdanne on February 20, 2012
Very nice photos! Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Nero67 on February 20, 2012
Iteresting blog!!!
Ps Congratulations for your new job ;-)
Posted by Clearvista on February 20, 2012
thanks-love the photos :)
Posted by Joe1971 on February 20, 2012
It is very nice!
Posted by Nwanda76 on February 20, 2012
Thanks. useful tip. the dessert pictures are amazing..
Posted by Banol2007 on February 20, 2012
Thanks for sharing! Congratulations with very impresive pictures!

Comments (23)

This article has been read 4265 times. 7 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Fabrizio Argonauta, Yongnian Gui, James Steidl, Njcnww, Rjmiguel, Tbel, Vassiliy Mikhailin.

About me

I am one of the remote photo editors for Dreamstime. My work background is a mixed bag - I trained as a primary school teacher, have had office/retail experience and for the last few years have settled into photography and image reviewing for Dreamstime.

South Gippsland, AU

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