A sign points to Butano State Park from Highway 1, on the coast about 50 miles south of San Francisco. The coast there is grassy hills, but the road keeps going inland until you end up in a redwood forest. Redwood forests are wonderful to visit, but a pain to photograph. You can’t get back far enough to show whole trees, so you get photos of a forest of stumps. There is no telling whether they are big or small. One solution is to spoil the purity of the nature scene by including people, paths, and even cars to provide scale.
Here are two panoramic images of Point Lobos. In one image there is a single person in the image, so tiny relative to the image size that it’s hard to see on the small version here. The figure is near the left edge, about half way up the frame. In a second image I’ve used Photoshop™ to erase the person. The question is which image is better. A person gives scale to the landscape, but many nature photographers seem to prefer images having no sign of humanity.
Akaka Falls is about ten miles north of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. The path to the Falls traverses tropical flora as interesting as the Falls itself. You recognize the exotic leaf-shapes of house plants, but prospering in their natural environment. The key to photographing them is to establish the scale of the plants.
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