Exercise: A Single Figure Small
Find a place which at the time of shooting is for the most part free of people, yet with an occasional figure passing through it. Consider how obvious, to the viewer’s eye, the figure will be in the image. Consider that an element of surprise can be obtained if the scale of the place is larger than expected in relationship to the figure. On the other hand, the point of this style is lost if the viewer fails to notice the figure and moves on.
My granddaughter is always telling her father about ‘the mountain’ she walks up when she goes walking with grandma and granddad when staying with us. Her father has never been to Snelsmore Common, where this image was made, and ‘Bella wanted a photograph to show him just how big and steep it is.
The hill is in fact a ravine and it is quite steep, as the steps set into the path indicate, but it’s not really that high, for an adult that is. To emphasise the height of the hill I chose to make this wide-angle image with ‘Bella just over half-way up; her diminutive size makes the hill look a lot bigger than it really is and she was impressed when she saw it and was able to tell her dad how hard the climb is and what an achievement it is every time.
Exercise: Busy Traffic
In contrast to the usually empty place of the last exercise, some locations are almost always busy, with a constant flow of traffic. Choose a busy location, interior or exterior, and find a viewpoint that will give a satisfying composition as well as a good sense of the nature and function of the space and aim to show the ‘busy-ness’ of the place.
Although this place may not seem so busy, in a small town like Thatcham this is as busy as anywhere gets, and also by comparison to a single figure in a shot as in the first image.