His gaze to the distant mountains as he pauses from reading his book gives this image a pensive vibe and begs the question, “What is the man thinking about?”
But adding people to landscapes doesn’t have to take the form of them being front-and-center in the shot to create mood.
In the photo above, the man is much smaller in the frame, yet our eyes are immediately drawn to him.
Unlike the first example, this photo has a much different mood – one with a sense of excitement and perhaps even danger.
In this case, the importance of the man to create that mood cannot be understated. Though the view from this vantage point is spectacular, you wouldn’t get the same feeling from the shot if the man wasn’t near the edge of the cliff.