Using scale to create striking images

This photo that I captured on the mountainside of Nikko, Japan is a good example of where scale is used effectively.

Nikon D800, 70mm, 1/400 sec., f/4.0, ISO 200
Nikon D800, 70mm, 1/400 sec., f/4.0, ISO 200

The winding road on the right side, with the bus turning around on the bend is so minuscule compared to the amount of space the abundance of the trees cover the image. This contrast really points out the fact that this mountainside is huge because we as viewers, have a reference to compare against–the bus. We may not know how much space these trees take up, but we all have a good idea of how large a bus is.

Used effectively, scale can be a great tool to use in photography. For example, a common composition when taking photos of people are to frame them against a building, to illustrate the difference in size between the two; it gives the photo more depth and interest to the viewer.

Next time you’re out shooting, try using scale as an effective tool in giving your photography that extra boost.

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