Skip to navigationSkip to content
Anthony Castro/EyeEm
It’s a big world out there.
WIDE ANGLE

Photos from around the world prove that nature’s beauty is in its dizzying scale

Johnny Simon
By Johnny Simon

Contributor

A stunning landscape is nothing without a sense of scale, and the most powerful nature photography often plays on a viewer’s feeling of smallness in relation to the mountains, valleys and oceans depicted. Recent finalists from the 2017 Photo Awards by photo sharing community EyeEm perfectly illustrate this concept.

Throughout its “Great Outdoors” category, the inclusion of human figures or evidence of a human presence in the composition brings a concrete measuring stick to the nature’s wildness. That human element brings the image down to earth, but it also heightens the photograph’s wildest elements. That gorgeous sunset isn’t a computer-generated gradient, and that ocean isn’t an endlessly repeating pattern once a person’s in the frame. Those dunes can’t be confused with a zoomed-in sandbox.

For viewers, this photographer’s trick bridges the gap from intangible image to real destination—and allows us to travel in our imagination.

André Dogbey/EyeEm

Bremen, Germany

Anthony Castro/EyeEm
Oahu, Hawaii
Masaki Sato/EyeEm
Mt.Tsubakurodake, Nagano, Japan
Michael Lynch/EyeEm
Bingham Canyon Mine, Salt Lake City, Utah
Zhang Yang/EyeEm
Qingdao, China
Yicheng Xiao/EyeEm
Bali, Indonesia
Simon Gruenenwald/EyeEm
Than Sadet Beach, Thailand
Nils Leithold/EyeEm
Saksun, Faroe Islands
Michael Schauer/EyeEm
Stokknes, Iceland
Guiga Pirá/EyeEm
Sea of Cortez, Mexico
Xiao Han/EyeEm
Vik, Iceland
Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.