A Sense of Scale

Blue Feather, Boulder

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When a photo is about pattern, the thrill of composition can come from a dissonance in size. Is the subject big or small? What is the sense of scale?

In these kinds of photos, that which seems to be big is actually small, or that which appears to be small is actually big. The viewer gets a thrill when the actual scale is recognized. The thrill comes from recognition, from a sense of oneness with the photographer, and from enjoyment of the paradoxes of scale.

Cases in point: the photo (above) of a detail of a blue feather is a close-up macro exploring at most one inch, while the photo below of UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium covers hundreds of feet.


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