I visited the Chimney Bluffs State Park near Sodus, New York, earlier this week as part of my Memorial Day weekend. The rugged bluffs were formed from drumlins, which in turn were created by glaciers in the last ice age. The impressive pinnacles and cliffs rise up to 150 feet (about 46 meters) from the lake shore. Here is a photo of some of the bluffs.
Can you tell how tall they are? I can’t with the blue water of Lake Ontario behind them. There is no reference as to how big the bluffs are. My first idea was to include something with the bluffs in the frame to give a sense of scale.
The surrounding trees help a little though it is hard to tell how tall they are without the boat as a reference. This is better but how can we tell the length of the boat? We can only estimate from this distance. We need a better scale.
Being a holiday, there were many people enjoying the park with me. We all have an idea how tall people are give or take a few inches (centimeters).
This is much better. The bluffs tower over the couple playing on the rocky shore with their dog. The average height of an American man is 5 foot, 10 inches (hey, that’s my height!) or 1.8 meters. I know what you are thinking. These people are not standing up straight. I have that covered.
As you can see, this is one tall stone pinnacle the hiker is looking up at. Remember this when faced with a very large natural object or a very small one. Put something in the frame to give someone looking at your photo a way of knowing the scale of the object you are photographing. Now that you have an idea of the size of these bluffs, the first photo in this article should look different to you.
All these photos where taken with a Nikon D70 digital camera and the Nikon 18-200VR lens.