When taking landscape photos, it is a good idea to try and place something familiar to stand out against the landscape. This gives a sense of scale and lets us appreciate the grandness of mother nature. Without that scale, it’s hard to truly appreciate the natural beauty we’re looking at. The following image by photographer TJ Drysdale is a fabulous example of how you can execute this concept:
This is an image that Drysdale shot of his girlfriend during sunset at the Double Arch in Arches National park, Utah. It is fair to say that he has nailed some fundamental principles of photography in this brilliant image.
The composition is perfect, as he has placed his girlfriend in the middle of the gap. This has several advantages. First, she clearly stands out from a busy background and this straightaway attracts our attention. The fact that she’s perfectly framed by the negative space also emphasizes her presence. Most importantly, her presence gives us an instant realization of scale. With a full-grown human appearing so small amidst the rocks, we can immediately appreciate how massive the rock formation must be.
Besides composition, the lighting is also spot-on. The fiery glow, a result of the setting sun, gives the impression of treasure on the other side. And the fact that the subject is looking away from us, toward the sun, it makes the image even more intriguing.
What do you think she’s looking at?
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