Photography myths - sense of scale

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Quarkcharmed Senior Member • Posts: 1,340
Re: Photography myths - sense of scale

robgendreau wrote:

Quarkcharmed wrote:

This one caused an interesting discussion on the landscape photography sub forum a few months ago.

So the myth is, a 'human element' in a photo gives a sense of scale. It obviously does when a person is put right next to another object. Otherwise the human element can be very deceitful.

As an example, below is a shot of me taken by my relative - does the human element give you a sense of scale?

Technically, since we all know the range of human sizes (from say Herve Villechaize to Yao Ming), and since we know a human, we now have a scale.

But we still don't know how proximate the rocks are. But we do know how far the horizon is. So we have a "sense" os scale despite uncertainties, which is what I would think the maker is getting at here. The horizon itself would give us some of that, but not as effectively IMHO.

And what myth? a scale is a known metric, a standard system one can compare to for measurement. If that's a myth, the scientific world is in for a surprise, It's used in photography all the time, very often in a playful way, especially with telephotos or ultra wide angles, which distort three dimensions. Think of all those giant moon shots with it near buildings, etc on the horizon. Or your little brother holding two fingers up appearing to squash dad in the family photos.

Sense of scale to me gives approximate relative sizes of objects, not just bigger/smaller, but how much bigger.

A short or long lens may give you a very distorted perspective (compared to a normal human eye) so you wouldn't be able to reliably compare the sizes of the objects in the frame.

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