Exploring Photography Week 10: Symmetry Photography

For the latest version of our weekly series, Exploring Photography, we investigate how symmetry in photography can achieve stunning results. Symmetry is something described in parallel, in photography it conveys balance and proportion. It is a form of pattern that is often associated with exactness and illustrates spatial awareness, often through reflection and rotation.

“What is it indeed that gives us the feeling of elegance in a solution, in a demonstration? It is the harmony of the diverse parts, their symmetry, their happy balance; in a word it is all that introduces order, all that gives unity, that permits us to see clearly and to comprehend at once both the ensemble and the details”. Henri Poincaré

Symmetry in photography can be explained by creating an image that can be divided in two (either horizontally or vertically) equal parts where two parts of an image can mirror one another accidentally in nature and the built environment.

Photographers will look for symmetry and shoot it purposely but they have the ability to create symmetry unconsciously as well. The result of symmetry is a striking one, bringing an aesthetically pleasing balance and proportion into a photograph.

To explore interesting ways to show symmetry requires two main elements, an attention-grabbing point of interest and powerful composition without holding ones attention for too long.
Photography has a general set of guidelines when it comes to composition, keeping a subject symmetrical can make impressive compositions, particularly in situations where they’re not expected, or achieved by introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.

To create a good balance in photography requires the correct combination of colours, shapes, and areas of light and dark that complement each other. By looking at your subject and capturing it from different viewpoints, angles or even at different lighting, you can compose a balanced image.

Examples of Symmetry in photography

Symmetry in Photography 3 | Exploring Photography

Symmetry in Photography | Exploring Photography

Symmetry in Photography 2 | Exploring Photography

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