Trying to photograph an amazing landscape? Just when you’re about to take the shot, you see people posing a selfie in front of it, that blocks your view. So, what do you do? Wait for their selfie session to get over, isn’t it? Well, we’ve all been there.
But, do you know – having people in the scene you’re photographing is not always a hindrance to creating aesthetically pleasing photographs? Yes, you read it right! Adding a human element in your scene engages the viewer as it adds life or motion to a still photo, captures local stories, balances the composition of the image, provides a reference for scale, adds depth to the photograph, conveys popular activities of a place and more.
Wondering, how to decide whether to keep people in the frame or not? Just check whether they fit in with the composition of the image – will they attract the viewer’s attention to your image by letting them think – who are those people in the photograph and what are they doing at that place?
So, let’s dive in and understand both the things – people in photographs that help in creating amazing photographs and people in photographs that don’t go well with the composition of the image.
Biker adds motion/speed to a nature photograph (Mussoorie)
Depicts activities of the locals – woman in blue fishing (Meghalaya)
Tells more about the place – a Sage walking towards the holy River Ganga to quench his thirst for spirituality (Rishikesh)
Shows Occupational Hazard – Fishermen trying to take the boat out into the sea when it gets hit by the wave (Goa)
Girl in purple shirt filling a can with the holy Ganga water provides a reference for scale by depicting how grand/magnificent nature is (Rishikesh)
Another example that gives a reference for scale (Meghalaya)
Yet another example that gives a reference for scale- Group of travellers facing inside the frame also takes the viewer’s attention inside the photo (Kashmir)
Girl on the tree holding leaves depicts the local attire (Kashmir ki Kali)
Traveller exploring/wandering through the streets – Girl in pink adds life, colour to the still streets of Mussoorie (Street Photography)
Now, take a look at the below 2 photographs where having people in the frame spoil the composition
If the man wouldn’t have been cut in the image – the photograph would have been more amazing (Kashmir)
The people are a distraction in the below image or else the photograph of the leafless tree with a cloudy sky would have created a more dramatic effect
Pro-tip: Well, there’s a trick for removing people in the scene who’re not adding any value to your photograph by setting slower shutter speed (long exposure).
We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.
Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Including People into Travel Photographs with the help of practical examples.
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When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express.
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Have you photographed a place where people in the scene enhanced the composition and helped in creating a more attractive image? Do share such photographs and your experience with us in the comment box below.