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Photography 101: Scale

Insert something into a scene to highlight size, and the size relationships between elements within a shot. (Bonus points for fooling us!)

Image by Michelle Weber

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Earlier this year, I wandered New Orleans, Louisiana, with an unlikely companion: a tiny plastic baby, courtesy of Randazzo’s, a bakery that hides and serves this little figurine in their King Cake.

I had a lot of fun experimenting with scale with this miniature friend. A park bench dwarfed him. A margarita glass made him look huge. And an old dollhouse at an artist’s workshop proved to be just right.

Today, play with scale: you can use anything and everything to help convey size in your image, from your Chihuahua to your Mini Cooper, to an aerial view or perspective from a penthouse floor.

Tip: Don’t just point and shoot. Observe your scene closely before pressing the shutter, considering how all the elements in the frame interact with your subject, and how all objects in your foreground and background relate to one another. Make an object appear larger through a ground-level POV. Place two things side by side in an unexpected way. Surprise us!

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