Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Exercise 19: Single Figure Small–a quick look in my archive

It was only when I was looking through my photos searching for examples of this approach that I realised how few of my photos actually contain people in any meaningful way. You could be forgiven for thinking that most of the places we visit on holiday are largely uninhabited except by members of my family. In fact, for the most part, the only way I use non-family in my photos is small – usually to give a sense of scale, and very occasionally as the subject or as a key part of the image.
These two from Iceland are about sense of scale – in fact the central people are so dwarfed by the landscape they are hardly visible.
Pseudocrater adjacent to Lake Myvatn, Skútustaðir

Use of an extreme wide-angle lens can exaggerate the effect of a small figure as in this picture – where the wide angle makes the building – which was already large -appear relatively larger by reducing the prominence of the figure. Somewhere in Egypt - I'll work out where soon

Then there are a few examples of a small figure being used in the way that the course notes suggest as an accent in the picture. These two would be nothing without the people.
Luxor - from the cruise boat Nile Cruise

Another example from my archive of using a person as an accent is this sunset shot – again I feel this picture would be pretty non-descript without the inclusion of the figure – tiny though he is. I had to be quite patient with this shot to wait for him to wander along the beach to the intersection of the shoreline with the highlight from the setting sun.

Looking towards Criffel from Maryport Prom

And finally, another shot from Egypt. I’m quite proud of this one as it got me to the finals of the Wanderlust Photographer of the Year competition (Travel Icons category). Technically it’s not ‘single figure’ but it clearly fits with the idea of a relatively small human presence making a significant difference to the shot. Without their presence this would simply be a rather oddly composed shot of the Sphinx.

The Sphinx

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