One of the main reasons I like to add a person
into my architectural pictures is that sense of
scale it can help create. The size of the
buildings can be lost when all you’re
comparing them to is the other huge
buildings in the photograph. A small person
at the foot of the building illustrates how vast
architecture can be. Large open areas inside
buildings, or big tunnels, can also benefit by
having a person in the frame to show the
scale of the area. It’s hard to judge how big a
place is if you have nothing to compare it to
in the first place, but everyone knows the
average size of a human, so this gives viewers
a reference point and shows the size of the
Left: Zooming in helped
compress the posts,
making them look
Above right: The person
here adds a sense of
scale, showing how tall
the buildings are.
Bottom: It’s difficult
to tell the size of this
including a figure
to compare it to.
frame, they can become the main focal point of the
photograph – depending on what they’re doing.
The architecture needs to be well composed
included. It’s a genre I like to call ‘urban geometric’.
up the composition I like without a person in the
frame. The image can work without a single person
in the frame, yet a person can add scale or
can be time consuming and frustrating. Sometimes,
other times it’ll work out and be worth the wait.
Is it not street photography?
geometric, on the other hand, narrows it down
person, or a link between the person and an
interaction with something else in the image.
Composing with people
I will still be looking for nice patterns and shapes,
image shouldn’t be entirely about the person. If,
the image, that isn’t a problem if it adds more to the
much, to the point that the building is no longer the
main focus of the image, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad
street – rather than architectural – photography.
Inspiration from the past
Throughout the years, photographs, paintings and
people. Famous paintings of cities and cityscapes
may not be a particularly large part of the painting,
a re, to t h is day, what we fol low a nd /or use a s
inspiration and guidelines.
photography, and showing the whole building, or
PEOPLE & BUILDINGS