Photography: Showing scale in images.

This is a short post about an interesting subject.  Steve, over at  blog, or see my blogroll at the right, posted an interesting article about showing scale in your landscape and scenic photos.  He is so right in describing how necessary it is. 

Here is one of my photos of Santa Elena Canyon, in Big Bend National Park.  The canyon walls rise 1,500 feet and I wanted to show the scale in the photo.  I was on a narrow trail on the north wall, about 100 feet above the Rio Grande River.  I was trying to show a total view of the walls in the photo, so I needed to do a vertical shot.  I needed that something to show scale, as Steve mentions.  I noticed a hiker plodding along the shore below me.  I waited until he walked into the frame, before snapping the photo.  Here is the result, and you will see the tiny hiker down in the bottom left corner.  Click on the image to enlargement.

Hiker in Santa Elena Canyon

It always amuses me, when I have this photo on display at art shows.  People will notice the canyon walls first, then when they finally notice the hiker, it is like,  WOW!, it blows their mind.  But without the hiker, those grasses wouldnt look as large as they actually are.

13 thoughts on “Photography: Showing scale in images.

  1. Thanks, Maria for the great compliments. It was truly amazing to hike those canyons. However, I am getting to the age where I can’t do too much anymore. But I can still admire the beauty from afar.


  2. Bob, my reaction was similar to the people @ your art shows. When I enlarged it and saw the scale I was in awe. How amazing it must have been to be there and experience such beauty. Great Capture !

  3. Thanks, Cindy. This photo was made about 10 years ago, when I was younger and more apt to do hiking. It was made on film, than scanned. It turned out to be one of my best all time sellers.


  4. You’re right, Bob! I enlarged the shot and I said, WOW! Without the hiker I would have never recognized the enormity of those canyon walls! Great post. And, thanks for the mention in your blog! I really appreciate it.

  5. You (and Steve) are absolutely right! I’ve noticed a couple of times lately in blog posts that adding a person to the photo REALLY helps!! I have to try to remember that in the future!

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