How to Emphasize Landscape Vistas Using Scale

It’s truly an amazing experience when you get to stand in front of a beautiful landscape and witness its full glory. But as a photographer, how do you communicate the same sense of excitement to the viewers through your photos? It becomes difficult to get a grasp of the actual grandness unless there’s something familiar around that we can use for comparison. This is where the concept of scale comes into play in landscape photography. Photographer Nigel Danson shares some simple ideas on how you can depict scale when shooting big vistas and add more drama to your landscape photography:

The simplest idea is to use people as scale to portray the majestic nature of vistas. One thing to keep in mind is that you can make it more effective by using a wide angle perspective. Using wide angle lenses puts some emphasis on the foreground which then accentuates the sense of scale. You can do it using a telephoto lens too, but be sure to back up.

“People are really good because everyone knows how tall a person is. Your brain immediately starts to think about the scale and size of the mountains in the background.”

If you’re not lucky enough to have people around to include in your frame, look around for familiar alternatives. Elements like trees, animals, buildings, and roads work well too. And if you get lucky, and the sky is pretty dramatic, include more of the sky. Doing so beautifully and dramatically emphasizes the vastness of the landscape.

Definitely try out these tips when you get a chance. Emphasize how grand the vista in your image actually is, and knock your viewers off their feet.

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