When you include a person in a picture, you add
a sense of scale to the subject or the scene. That’s
true even if the person takes up only a tiny frac-
tion of the image. What’s more, seeing a person in
a scene gives the viewer of the picture the oppor-
tunity to picture him or herself in the scene.
For example, in this image, the lone worker on
the 90-foot-high structure that features a statue of
Chingis Khan, which I photographed in Mongo-
lia, illustrates the enormity of the structure, as do
the tourists in the foreground.
Do you agree that the picture with the man has
much more impact than the picture without
Including people in architectural and landscape
images also adds a human quality to an image. I
took these pictures in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
Here is a photograph that I took in Namibia while
exploring the magnificent sand dunes—the old-
est sand dunes on the planet. I could easily have
waited for the climber to move out of the scene, or
taken him out in Photoshop. However, his pres-
ence in the photograph illustrates the enormity
of the dunes. Quite frankly, I would not have this
picture any other way.
The next time you look at a scene and say to your-
self, “I wish the person would move out of the
scene,” think about how you can use that person
to your photographic advantage.