Sense of Scale, White Mountains

Presidential Range - Sense of Scale, Hikers ascending the Subway Trail in King Ravine. The Subway Trail is a side trail off the King Ravine Trail, which travels through a large boulder field in King Ravine in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. The subway trail reconnects with the King Ravine Trail and snow can be found in the ice caves of this ravine during the summer months.
King Ravine Trail – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Sense of Scale, White Mountains – To create a sense of scale in my New Hampshire White Mountains landscape imagery I try to include people or any object that will help viewers in determining the size of the scene. Including any object in a scene a viewer will recognize the size of works, but using people is usually the best option.

Everyone is familiar with the size of an average person, so the hikers included in these landscape scenes act as a reference point to help gauge the size of the scene. The size and depth of these scenes would be lost if the hikers were not included. And yes, the boulders (above) in King Ravine are huge!

Sense of Scale, flash floods from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 washed out this section of the Wilderness Trail (formerly Cedar Brook Trail) in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of Lincoln, New Hampshire USA. This storm caused extensive damage along the East coast of the United States and the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire was officially closed during the storm (ScenicNH Photography LLC | Erin Paul Donovan)
Wilderness Trail (formerly Cedar Brook Trail) – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

If your intent is to show the natural beauty of a location, including a human element can take away from the purity of a scene. In these cases, a pure landscape shot maybe the best bet, but if you want to show the size of a location, including a human element will help. And do not be afraid to use yourself as a model. I do it often with satisfying results. Just try to avoid the "staged" look.

A winter hiker ascends the Airline Trail in extreme weather conditions during the winter months in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Airline Trail – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Mountain scenes with hikers in them are always in demand by publications. Outdoor photographers should have a couple sense of scale images on file. All of the above images can be licensed for publications by clicking on the image you are interested in, and you can view more sense of scale images of the White Mountains here.

Happy image making..


 

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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

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