Experiment with placement and scale to show how big (or small) you can feel in a photo.

Tiny boats from above the ocean in Rio de Janeiro.

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One of the parts I love most about flying is that moment you take off and watch the airport, buildings, homes, shopping centers, and cars get smaller and smaller, shrinking until they’re out of sight. There are many other opportunities throughout the day to remember your place in our big, big world. It’s easy to remember how tiny we are in the grand scheme of things in the hustle and bustle of a busy city, or in the silence of a secluded town.

The first time I visited Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I felt a similar sensation traveling up to the top of its iconic Sugarloaf Mountain. As we ascended the mountain, the city and its noise shrunk behind us until the buildings and the boats looked just like little toys.

Tiny boats from above the ocean in Rio de Janeiro.

Photography, and any visual art, is all about perspective. Where and how you place other objects in the frame can completely change how another part of the picture looks. In drawing, placing an object farther down on the page and making it larger gives the appearance that it’s close; conversely, a smaller object towards the top of the frame seems farther away.

For this week’s challenge, make use of sizing, placement, and scale in your photos. Perhaps you live in a place with mountains, and want to highlight the size of the homes in relation to the dramatic landscape. Or, conversely, if you live in a city, how do the buildings change when you place a smaller object, like a cup or a toy, in the front of your frame? Can you make them appear smaller or, conversely, can you make them look like the biggest skyscrapers in the world?

Have some fun with perspective and show just how big, or little, the world can seem.

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