Three thousand tonnes of sand are needed for the annual Copenhagen Sand Sculpture Festival, which is attended by more than international competitors. The sand used comes from a quarry pit rather than the beach and has a ten per cent clay content to make for better stability, even in the rain.
Copenhagen – Photo Tip

Want scale and depth? Use people

Photo by Matthew James Harrison

Copenhagen – Photo Tip Want scale and depth? Use people

The Copenhagen Sand Festival often brings both gorgeous weather and great photo opportunities.

Matthew James Harrison
Matthew James Harrison

With both of these images I wanted to highlight the contrast between the deep blue sky and the sand castle itself, so shooting from low down was my first priority. On the wide shot, I also chose to tilt the camera slightly to liven it up a bit. Do not overdo it, though; just a little is enough.

Being a manmade structure, it made sense to get an actual human being in the photographs, so I arranged to meet the festival's art director and manager, Martin Tulinius. Using people in your photographs adds a sense of depth and scale, and often attracts attention to a particular area. Getting them to perform a task also looks more natural and helps your subject to relax.

Sunny days can overexpose photos, so I took a light reading from the sky, which brought out the deep blue tones and the yellows in the sand. I used a 70-200mm lens on the closer picture to focus on the details in the lines. Notice how I kept Martin in the righthand third of the pictures, making the most of artists’ favorite, the Rule of Thirds.

copenhagen-trvl-sand-festival-02

Copenhagen Sand Festival's art director Martin Tulinius with the Rule of Thirds, the artists' favorite, in full glory. Photo by Matthew James Harrison

Matthew James Harrison

Matthew James Harrison

Nikon D3

Aperture
ƒ/9
Exposure
1/400
ISO
200
Focal
85 mm

Copenhagen Sand Festival's art director Martin Tulinius with the Rule of Thirds, the artists' favorite, in full glory.

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