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Appreciating Scale

10th September 2022

We’re Mere Specks on Earth

I grew up in the New York metropolitan area and didn’t get to travel to the more remote areas of our country until later in life. To me, the skyscrapers of New York City were about the tallest or largest scenery to which I was accustomed. That changed after college when I visited my first national park – Yosemite. Since then, I’ve made been lucky enough to visit many more.

One thing that I encountered early on and continues to amaze me to this day is the extensive amount of our country’s tracts of land. Look as far as your eye can see and there’s plenty more beyond. From a distance, gaze at a geologic feature or land mass and you may not comprehend its size until you draw closer. In short, it’s the scale of these features that are astonishing.

As individuals, our size is insignificant compared to the earth’s magnificent landforms.

Below are a few photographs that try to illustrate scale.

A couple hiking at Death Valley’s Mesquite Dunes look miniscule.
You can barely see the dozens of visitors congregating around Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Here’s a visitor enjoying the shade of Delicate Arch.
This is the same photograph at full size. You can see how the size of Delicate Arch towers over the visitor.

These craggy mountains in the northeast portion of Yellowstone National Park are home to mountain goat families.
We’ve enlarged the photo on the left so you can pick out the animal on the ledge high off of the surrounding terrain.

This young girl is having fun exploring the rocks in Monument Valley.

In the full size photo you can see her standing in front of a huge monument.

This young girl sits at the entrance to the Tunnel Tree in Yosemite.

My fisheye lens captures the entirety of the Tunnel Tree which rises 225 feet above the ground.

The scale of many of nature’s wonders is so humbling to me and affords me the chance to record them on film (so to speak).

Written by:
Arnie Lee

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