A single figure small

This exercise looks at how by placing a small figure in the frame the figure is more of an accent than a portrait (similar exercise to the “single point” in the Art of photography module).  I enjoyed working on this exercise and although the brief suggests it may be easier to arrange for a friend to be the figure, I decided to take the more challenging route by keeping a look out for suitable opportunities to take advantage of.

Firstly I found a photograph from last year’s holiday and included it here. In this shot the viewer spots the figure immediately, so there is no surprise reaction, but I do think it creates a sense of space – lone figure, big sky and vast open desert.

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The next three shots were an experiment.


Above: A bridge across the gorge dominates the image. A small figure lurks in the bottom right-hand corner, not immediately obvious, therefore the delayed reaction adds interest to the  image.


The same figure. Although not identifiable certainly more prominent due to position and contrast.


For me this image is the strongest of the three. The eye is first drawn along the river…. then the figure is spotted climbing out of the frame.



I find this image a little disturbing. For some reason it reminds me of a psychological thriller or one of those films where a child is possessed, however I’m sure that’s not the case! The figure caught my attention because the little girl was stood so still and upright – for quite some time, and although we cannot see her face it appears as though she is staring into the water. Again a dominant location and extreme size relationship work together to create interest and arouse curiosity.



Here I have used the setting as a distraction, there is a delay before the figure is seen.