Scale is a relative term. We, as humans love to measure and compare things. How large our house is, how fast our cars are, how many times we hit a ball, the list goes on and each comparison is measured against a previous encounter, an average, or “how the pros do it”. It gives us a level of accomplishment, or something to achieve towards. We use scale to measure our performance at work, home and play. And most times, it just puts things into perspective.
Thus I found myself in Dead tree pan, at Sossusvlei in Namibia. If you have been there, you will know it as one of the most hauntingly beautiful places on earth. The silence at first light is astounding and the dead acacia trees splay their arms heavenwards in a silent grieving. Four of us were there at dawn. Within a few minutes, of arriving each of was alone- that is how easily the large pan swallows you up, as you are trying to contemplate how to capture such a serene scene.
An hour after sunrise the first tourists arrives. The walk across the dunes to get here is long and they aren’t necessarily as obsessively dedicated as photographers who race there at dawn… However, it also means that people are walking into your images, so its time to pack up, the work is done for the day. In doing so, I noticed a tourist walking in the distance of the pan, against the backdrop of the southern dunes. Immediately I was aware of how small he was in relation to the dune. Out came the camera and then this image. All morning I had been trying to capture and show the beauty of the pan, but sometimes it is hard to capture a scene without something to relate to. The human factor in this image just added that extra scale to the image.
As I said, scale is a relative term, but sometimes, it just puts things into perspective.
Nikon D70 - 70-200mm
Exposure - f 11 Shutter Speed: 1/160sec
Exp. Comp. 0 EV
ISO equiv. - 200
Flash sync- not attached, Exposure mode- Aperture priority, Metering Mode- Matrix, File type- NEF (RAW)
Focal length: 100mm (150mm, 35mm equivalent)