The Perception Of Proportion

How big is it? How long does it last? These are the most basic questions a scientist can ask about a thing. They are so basic to the way people conceptualize the world that it is not easy to see that they imply a certain bias. They suggest that size and duration, qualities that depend on scale, are qualities with meaning, qualities that can help describe an object or classify it. … Scale is important.”
~ James Gleick, Chaos: Making a New Science

I had spent years trying to click people free photos or cropping them out completely, until I realised the importance of scale. Of the need for a point of reference to aid perception. Especially in the case of monumental architecture or spectacular landscapes.

I do still forget sometimes. Here are a few instances where I didn’t (or just got plain lucky)

The tiny figures at the base of the 200 metre high Tianlong (Sky Dragon) Bridge in Wulong County, China and the young girl dwarfed by the columns of the hipostyle hall of Karnak Temple (above) demonstrate the massive scale of both structures.

Dhamek Stupa SarnathA devout Buddhist nun meditating beside the Dhamek Stupa, Sarnath.Ngorongoror National Park, TanzaniaThese tiny Masai figures on the floor of the Ngorongoro crater demonstrate the vastness of that space.Stepped pyramid of Djoser in Giza, EgyptThe stepped Pyramid of Djoser – believed to be the earliest large-scale cut stone construction.

Happy travels….no matter where life takes you.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

100 thoughts on “The Perception Of Proportion

  1. I wanted to see a Buddha with a pigeon, but these make me happy too. I think it is great that most of these human figures wear bright red clothes. Perfect examples, Madhu!

  2. True. I always tend to not photograph places with people. But they are very important when you are trying to show scale.

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