PEOPLE IN THE LANDSCAPE
When people or animals are depicted in a photograph as part of a larger composition, the eye will immediately be drawn to those figures, completely changing the way that we look at a photo.
Here are a selection of my own images that fit this description
When you depict people in a photograph, they totally change the dynamic of the composition. A person or some people deicted small in a larger composition will always draw initial attention to them.
If you look at the images above, once you are aware of a human figure in the frame, your eye locks onto it and then the composition radiates out from there.
I liken it to a portrait where you have to get the eyes right, because that is where our attentions settles on first, before radiating out across the remainder of the composition.
It’s very important to be aware of this, and it’s a great mechanism for directing the viewer around the composition.
It is truly staggering (in relative photographic terms, of course!) that landscape photographers of old used to say that a true landscape photograph was one with no people in. People are not absolutely required by any means (there shouldn’t be any absolutes), but they can if correctly positioned add a great deal to a landscape composition.
I like portraying people in images. Not as portraits (in this context at least), but figures that are interacting with the environment.
They enhance a photograph significantly I think. Or at least people increase the interestingness of a photograph.
In the picture of the sea with the surfer, I processed this to enhance the surfer. But even without the surfer, I think I could have created an interesting image
It’d the same with all the others. They are okay images in their own right, but enhanced significantly with the people that are in them.
In the forest images above, I really tried to capture the enormity of a forest by including small figures in the frame. These two images are very large resolution multiple image stitched compositions. There is therefore room for cropping to create the visual effect that I was looking for when I took the image.
However, to get the full visual effect, these images would have to be printed to the maximum that their resolution would allow.
On a computer screen, the effectis lost somewhat as the figures look too small in the frame to have a significant visual effect.
I am not a traditionalist or a purist. To me a landscape image can be any landscape, not just rural. The only pure thing for me in photography, is composition. You have to get that right.
So these images are compositions where the people are much more significant in the composition. They are larger and fill the frame much more.
The method of taking these images though is the same. I spot a composition in the landscape, I do a small survey to fine tune the composition, and then with this type of photography I put the camera on a tripod so that the composition becomes fixed. when people walk or move into the frame, I press the shutter when I think an interesting combination of elements is present.
That is a process that I employ in any situation, both rural or urban. I use it when I know that there will be moving objects of some description moving in and around the frame.