Focal point: Making the grade

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There are so many things tricking the eye in this photo it’s hard to know where to start. How is she climbing a slope that steep? Is this a real person or a very realistic sculpture? What exactly is the sense of scale? How big or small are things? Is the light standard int he background helping my eye figure out the mystery or adding to it? Finally I had to ask the photographer what I was seeing. Her reply was simply, “Sticky surface, grippy shoes.”

*Brian Kerrigan, photo editor