I remember one of my biggest hurdles in learning photomanipulation was scaling subjects accurately to make the piece more believable. Improperly done and bad scaling can make your subjects look like they’re floating, freakishly big/small, and can make it difficult for the viewer to know where the subject is in relation to other objects, damaging the space and dimension you work to create.
A rule of thumb for me, and I wish I remember where I first read it so I can give credit where it’s due, is to keep an eye on where the subject’s waist is in relation to the horizon, then worry about resizing. Once I decide where I want the subject’s waist to be, I move the model stock where I’d like it to be and use the anchor point to anchor the photo at the waist. Doing so keeps them in place which makes resizing much easier.
Photos demonstrating the waist-at-horizon rule
However this trick has varieties that help you anchor your subject in other angles, rather than just the straight-on effect this gives.
Here you see the top two photos are taken from a lower angle making the models look bigger and powerful, and they are anchored by the horizon being lower towards their legs and knees.
The bottom two photos have a lot of open space and focus on the setting rather than the models, achieved by a horizon by their eye-line and higher. They look small but not meek.
Here is a little of my artwork utilizing these rules.
- All stock photos from Pixabay