Fun with Scale, Hawaiian-style.

Picture: Hula Dancer doing The Wedding Hula, Paradise Cove Luau, Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii

Hula Dancer doing The Wedding Hula, Paradise Cove Luau, Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii

Deep down, we all know it. But our brain likes to fill n the g ps.

Objects that are farther away from us appear smaller. That’s obvious when you’re looking across a landscape toward a distant city or mountain. But the same is true for objects at all distances. However, when objects are closer to us, like when looking across a room or a yard, our brain makes an immediate adjustment, so we ‘think’ that the things we see in the background still appear “normal-sized.”

Modern cameras may have an electric brain, but it lacks the capacity to make the same type of automatic visual perception adjustments for the scene coming in through its lens. Photographers often play with this fact by making people seem to miraculously hold up the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, or even hold the sun in their hands.

In this photo, the male dancer was at most 8-10 feet behind the woman. Yet the camera saw him as nearly half-sized. At this moment in the dance, her pose of seemingly rocking an infant seems at odds with the small man-boy in the background. While watching the Wedding Hula dance, the audience all saw the male dancer as the attentive husband and proud father-to-be. But the camera turned him into a child by shrinking him in size when seen in scaled relation to the woman in the foreground.

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