As a photographer, I appreciate the importance of scale. Many things in the natural world look similar at all distances, which is a feature of fractal geometry. For example, if you look at a coastline (just the boundary, not the features around it), you won’t see any dramatic differences whether your view is from 100 miles up or 1 foot!
This aspect of nature means that when you photograph something that has this property, you need to include something else in the frame that is a known size (like a human). This allows the brain to know how to “scale” the picture. Film makers use this idea to trick the brain into seeing full-size scenes, when in reality everything in the picture is a miniature of the same scale.
In life, we also need to recognize the importance of scale. When events happen in our life, we need a scale to know the significance. When teenagers break up after an intense three-month relationship, they think life can’t go on. But later in life, this event wouldn’t be as traumatic because we have “been around the block” enough to know that this is NOT the end of life as we know it, but merely another opportunity for growth (and maybe a chance to learn to forgive). A sense of scale helps to “put things into perspective”.
Often we let the little things in life take up most of our time and attention. We get caught up in making money, paying bills, eating, resting, and so on. It is wise to occasionally stop and take time to reflect. What are our goals and values? Then we will remind ourselves what is really important.
Once we have restored our sense of scale, we will work to make the important things have our time and attention! Material wealth may make you comfortable, but it will never really give you joy. This comes from fulfilling our passions and celebrating our relationships with our friends and family.
So, from now on, as you decide what to do or how to react to what is happening, I hope you will take this photographer’s tip to remember the importance of scale.