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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Fred O'Donnell says
Good article, Anne. Fantastic photos!!
James Greenall says
I particularly like the interior shot up through the balcony into the dome but, guess what, it is a perfect horizontal “rule of thirds” split. Another brilliant selection of inspiring photographs. I hope one day I will be able to do something similar. Thanks Anne.
Steve Hughes says
Great tips Anne! Symmetry at its simplist…
Toad Hollow Photography says
Terrific article, Anne! Great examples, as always, illustrating your points here. I really enjoyed it and came away with some fresh ideas. Fabulous, my friend!!
Louisa Hayek says
Amazing Creativity and way of representation is extremely Good.I am glad to see your valuable and fresh thoughts.Well Done
Anatoly Sirotinin says
Thank you, Anne! Very useful article and great examples.
Anne McKinnell says
You are welcome Anatoly, I’m glad you found it helpful.
Stephanie Orace says
Beautiful work Anne! Your pictures are amazing. I would be delighted to promote your artwork.
All the bests for your new life 🙂