Just how big is that airplane, September Fate? If you’re fortunate to be around and love aircraft, you have a general idea just how big a particular aircraft might be but you still wouldn’t have guessed the size of September Fate. Even if I told you that I couldn’t get my closed fist under that fuselage (and that’s where the pilot sits), that wouldn’t help. And even though you might not know the size of an FG-1D Corsair, at least you can tell September Fate is a small aircraft since it appears to fit underneath it. Scale even in aviation photography helps tell a story!
Admiditly you can’t always park an aircraft next to an aircraft for scale (or have them fly that close to each other). You have lots of other options if you need to show scale. The easiest is simply having the pilot stand by the plane. You can actually manipulate this scale by how close or how far from the aircraft you have the pilot stand. At an airshow, there are often vehicles about from tugs, cars, and trucks. Anyone of these can bring scale to your photograph. The “trick” is using scale to speak about size while not being really obvious about it. The photograph above, it is blatant that I’m talking scale from this angle. The main photo though was not from the side but from the front to show off the “gullwing” construction of both planes. No matter what subject, scale helps in telling the story. Be creative and use your imagination by adding this small detail and your visual storytelling will grow.