Despite everything we have been taught in photography about the rule of thirds and keeping things off balance and out of the middle, symmetry has always been associated with beauty.
Interestingly even when it comes to a person’s face, the most beautiful face is the most symmetrical face.
It’s all about balance, equality of proportion and harmony.
To make a photograph that is symmetrical, you you will have to hone your eye to find items in the scene that are symmetrical and leave everything out of the frame that does not fit.
Your objective is to find a subject where you can draw an imaginary line down the middle, either horizontally or vertically, and have one half equal to the other half.
Lots of man made things are symmetrical. Probably the easiest place to start finding symmetry to photograph is in architecture. Not that Frank Gehry off balance wacky kind of architecture (although I love that stuff). Think of your local landmarks or even just basic homes.
Do you have a local chinatown? I always seem to find symmetry in Chinese architecture.
Don’t forget about architectural interiors too.
Another man-made thing that is always symmetrical is a car.
Finding symmetry in nature can be much more difficult but when you start looking for it you will find it. Mostly it is a matter of reprograming your brain to allow yourself to put your subject in the middle.
One way to find symmetry in nature is to look for reflections.
- Don’t forget about the other rules of good composition such as keeping the background simple. This can be especially difficult with cars or public places where there might be people milling about.
I would love to see what kinds of images you come up with! Please share a link to your symmetrical photo in the comments.
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