Lens-Artists Challenge 116 – Symmetry
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”
This week Patti has challenged us to illustrate the principal of symmetry in our images. Many of us have studied photographic techniques and worked to develop skills that are in line with the principal. On the other hand, an untrained eye often instinctively finds compositions that follow the same guideline. Whether trained, instinctual or sometimes just lucky, images that are symmetrical in nature are among the most pleasing to the eye – drawing viewers in to the object(s) of our attention. Reflections, such as those in my image above and below, are often an excellent way to capture a horizontally symmetrical image, where the top and bottom of an image are closely matched or identical.
“The most beautiful birds do not know how beautiful they are until they see their reflection in water.”
“Knowledge unlocks the door to the mysteries of our mistakes; wisdom guides us away from repeating them”
As we travel, cameras in hand, our eyes are drawn to symmetrical scenes such as the image of doors above or the beautiful mosque windows below. As photographic principals go, three is a better number when capturing the elements of an image. As always though “rules” are made to be broken. My image of four doors is an example of rule-breaking that reflects the scene of the street image as I saw it, rather than as the “rules” would have had me present it.
“Blue color is everlastingly appointed by the deity to be a source of delight.”
There are those who might not be drawn to the image below, but as always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is a simple image of a wall I found in Hong Kong. It’s colors drew me in, along with their symmetry. I especially liked the small square in the top right, without which the image would be, at least to me, less interesting. A break in the symmetry is said to give the eye a place to rest.
“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ”
The image of boats framed within a bridge in Shouzhuang may not meet a classic definition of symmetry, but many of its elements are subtle suggestions of the concept. The scene is reflected in the water, the image is centered such that both sides are similar if not identical, and the boats draw the eye to a strong focal point. Again, the tiny vertical window in the building at the far end, for me adds an extra element of interest.
“A lake is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”
Henry David Thoreau
Finally, an example of radial symmetry, where circular patterns emerge, often due to water droplets. The thing that drew me to this one (which was the result of a raindrop rather than a stone’s throw), was the small circular leaf floating within the water’s concentric circles.
“As you sit on the hillside, lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.”
As always, Patti’s challenge presents us with interesting food for thought and offers us an opportunity to explore a strong technique for honing our skills. We look forward to seeing your examples and reading your thoughts on the subject. Please remember to link them to Patti’s original post here, and to Tag them with our Lens-Artists Tag. My sincere thanks for your many and varied responses to last week’s Inspiration challenge. The creativity you showed in your approaches was amazing – your continuing support and enthusiasm are very much appreciated. We hope you’ll join us again next week as, with a slight modification to our schedule, Amy hosts Challenge #117. Until then be well and stay safe.