ISSUE 3 OF 10 – How to see a photo !

Perspective in photography is something will help your skills immensely

Day Three: “Scale” — Experiment with Size

A bakery in New Orleans, Louisiana, serves its famous king cake with a little plastic baby hidden inside. Here is one such figurine, posing on an iron fence in the Garden District during Mardi Gras:

Today, play with scale: use anything and everything — from your Chihuahua to your Mini Cooper — to convey size in your image.

Today’s Tip: Don’t just point and shoot. Observe your scene before pressing the shutter and consider how all the elements in the frame interact with one another. Make an object appear larger through a ground-level POV. Place two things side by side in an unexpected way.

Day Three: “Scale” — Experiment with Size

Scale (noun):

  • A series of marks or points at known intervals used to measure distances (as the height of the mercury in a thermometer).
  • An indication of the relationship between the distances on a map and the corresponding actual distances.
  • A proportion between two sets of dimensions (as between those of a drawing and its original).
  • A distinctive relative size, extent, or degree.

Scale gives the viewer looking at your image a frame of reference. Sometimes, for example, you’ll want to include a person in your sweeping landscape shot — instead of cropping him or her out — to show how big something is. Or, to show how small your puppy is, you might prefer to keep your toddler’s shoes on the floor in the background — so you can compare the two.

When shooting today’s assignment, think of your scene as a whole. The key here is the relationship between your subject and the objects around it, or the way a subject interacts with its surroundings. So, examine everything in your frame — don’t just focus on one thing.

The placement of the miniature figurine in today’s featured image not only shows its size, but also its size in relation to everything else. Here’s another image that achieves the same result:

Photo by Michelle Weber.
Photo by Michelle Weber.

Our little guy is atop a fence decorated with Mardi Gras beads. You can easily tell, from his placement next to a single bead on a necklace, just how tiny he is. See more examples of scale in this photo tour around New Orleans.

If you would like to shoot this assignment, we would love to see your photos. Submit photos to:

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