Fitting a huge eye-catching scene into a 35mm frame can often be a daunting task. I routinely see photographers attempting to do this and missing the mark. Experiencing a grand scene and capturing it effectively for others to experience often eludes photographers. One trick of the trade is to leverage a component of your scene for scale. In many instances the object included for scale is the element of focus and other times it can be a secondary object lending itself to provide viewers an anchor to make sense of the scene.
As an example photographers photographing Mavericks will either shoot a close up of the surfer losing all perspective to the scene or they’ll include a view of the massive wave with the surfer. The later can produce some jaw dropping images highlighting the size of the waves in relation to the surfers.
Another popular technique to exploit an exaggerated sense of scale is to utilize a tilt-shift lens or employ a faux tilt-shift effect. Capturing an image with a very shallow depth of field or mimicking a very shallow depth of field can make normal photo subjects look like toys. To exaggerate the sense of scale, in the previous image, I used Photoshop to apply a Gaussian Blur to a duplicate layer of my image. I then applied a layer mask to show all but a thin ribbon of the blurred photo… revealing the in focus layer behind. The result is the following version of the photo.
If you’re looking for a quick and dirty way to apply a faux tilt-shift effect check out this online tool to upload a photo or use a photo from the web to create your own – TiltShift Maker
So which do you prefer, the original or the faux tilt-shift version of the Mavericks surf photo?
[tags]photography, sports, mavericks, surf, surfing, extreme sports, Half Moon Bay, Pillar Point, wave[/tags]