The Sleeping Giant's Sea Lion

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I am currently trying to shoot the inside of a client's new building for a brochure, however its rather empty as its new. I want therefore to capture the scale of the place, its quite big!

This is the best ive managed so far:

enter image description here To give an idea of scale, the white "box" to the left is a 2 storey office block, and the door into it is 9ft high. and just left of centre, there are 8 people working at some large CNC machines.

Can anyone suggest an alternative POV or method to really show how big this place is? This image is stitched from 5 portrait images, covering about 110 degrees horizontaly.

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Does the it have to be one photo? can you not have multiple photos? I think the distortion from the stitching (you will get the same with a wide angle lens) detracts from the actual photo. Have you considered a 360 degree image? eg sphericalimages.com/virtual-tours –  Rob Jun 19 '12 at 17:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

To properly relate scale in a photograph, you need either the proper perspective or something of known size that can be compared to the rest of the scene. You have pretty decent perspective, however there is nothing near to the camera...everything is at greater distance. Additionally, there is nothing of well-known size to relate the size of the building to.

If you had a person stand in that expanse of clean floor between the camera and the "clutter" of the background, that would probably do quite nicely to help the viewer relate the sheer scale of the warehouse to something of easily identifiable size. To contrast a human with something else...say the door. Doors come in a variety of sizes and shapes, however common doors are usually less than 7 feet tall. If the door in the left wall is the only thing that viewers can use to truly relate to the size of the warehouse itself, the warehouse will probably seem smaller than it actually is to most viewers. They will relate what they know as the most common size for a door, rather than a 9-foot tall door (which is 35% taller than an average door.)

Relative sizing against an object of well-known size and perspective are your primary tools to demonstrate scale in a photograph. You have perspective...you just need something of well-known size.

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3 suggestions that I have:

  1. Use ultra wide angle lens or fish eye lens. Fish eye lens will make the field very wide.
  2. crop the image to be more wide, this will give the feel that the place is huge.
  3. If you can put small objects (like small chairs) in the place then you will feel the different between the size of the huge place compared to the size of these small objects. Try to use objects that people already know what their size are, and the brain will do the rest (cause it has a point of reference now) by comparing the size of the objects that he knows and will form an idea about the size (compare) of the building. Also try to put these objects far away from the camera cause if you put them near to the camera then they will look larger than you want and won't get the wanted relative difference in size
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It's really hard to get an idea of scale when most of the space in your picture is empty. You have to have objects that have a known size at different distances, so that our brain can estimate scale from stuff that we know. For example, if you had people standing (i.e. working) at different spots on that big empty space that will be a good hint.

This question may provide some related ideas, though in that case it is for a landscape and not an interior.

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