Scale is deceptive

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Lucas
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Scale is deceptive

Post by Lucas » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:02 pm


Click on image to see its original size

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magaz ... -pictures/

"Japan Sunset paints the sacred Meoto Iwa (“wedded rocks”) in pastel hues. Bound by heavy rice-straw ropes, the two stacks off the coast of Futami—Izanagi (left) and Izanami—symbolize the Shinto deities said to have created Japan."

The new NATGEO came today and I saw this pic. My first thought was it is a miniature model but the caption said it was human scale.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=Futami%E ... 5xB4ULM%3A

I didn't quite believe until looking at the above.

I find I have similar problems judging the scale of trees in pics here. There is a 140 foot cell tower near by that looks like nothing when I am close and it is way above everything when I am a mile away. It makes me wonder how impressive 150 foot trees are.
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

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bbeduhn
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Re: Scale is deceptive

Post by bbeduhn » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:39 am

When that 140' or 150' tree is in the open it appears much taller. In the forest, a 150' tree can often go unrecognized due to scale or setting. Trees tend to look taller on flat land than they due on slopes or in coves. Even the trained eye can miss some good ones. Also, certain trees appear taller than they are, namely most conifers, especially Norway spruce. One conifer exception that is almost universally taller than it appears is the dawn redwood. Hardwoods with small twigs like hornbeam and hophornbeam are often much taller than they appear. The laser comes in handy when our eyes are fooled.

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Scale is deceptive

Post by Erik Danielsen » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:48 am

Brian, I wonder if a reversal of that develops for those of us who stare at trees incessantly and then go about measuring them- looking down into ravines from roadsides is the circumstance most likely to get my heart racing when I see a sycamore or tulip lofting weightlessly and endlessly upward while its base is anchored dozens of feet below... which sometimes pans out and sometimes disappoints, whereas I often discount trees in the open on level ground until I measure and find them to be as much as 20 feet taller than I had imagined.

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Scale is deceptive

Post by Matt Markworth » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:49 pm

The biggest deception I've encountered is when going from thin twigs to thick twigs (for hardwoods) or from short needles to long needles (for conifers).

For example, if I've seen a lot of beech and then encounter a yellow buckeye, the yellow buckeye appears shorter than it actually is. The thick twigs of the yellow buckeye provide the optical illusion of being closer to me than they really are, since my eye was accustomed to the thin beech twigs. Meanwhile, the beeches look a little taller than they really are.

Or, if I've been looking at blue spruce all day and then see a ponderosa pine, the ponderosa pine appears shorter than it actually is. The visual impression of the top of the ponderosa pine against the sky is so stout compared to blue spruce that the top of the pine appears closer than it really is.

Matt

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dbhguru
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Re: Scale is deceptive

Post by dbhguru » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:05 am

Matt,

I have the same challenges as you've outlined. Small versus large leaves/needles at the top of the crown can confuse the judgment. Color also adds to the mix. One must be conscious of how far away they are from the trunk. Also, the angle between the top and base at the eye is very important. The wider the angle, the taller the tree looks. When we're up on a slope looking at a tree in a ravine with the base below and the top above eye level, we see it at its most impressive in terms of appearing tall.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

Joe

Re: Scale is deceptive

Post by Joe » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:49 am

When I'm marking a timber stand for a thinning- I pick the tree, mark it, then step back several feet to estimate the height in half logs. From that distance, my estimate is always less than if I step back- the farther back, the higher my heightestimate. The more valuable the tree- the more time I put into getting the height right- but I never use tools- don't have time for that since I'll have to mark hundreds of trees each day. But it always amazes me how different the height seems depending on where you're standing.
Joe

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Lucas
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Re: Scale is deceptive

Post by Lucas » Mon May 08, 2017 1:49 pm


Click on image to see its original size
http://ents-bbs.org/posting.php?mode=reply&f=144&t=7570

Another example of how scale and perspective change with orientation. This "More than 200ft long and 13ft around the trunk"
cedar takes on a new wow factor in this setting.
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

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