Ma ke the most of symmetry
What ’s the Big Idea?
Symmetry is when you can divide an image in two and get a mirror image on either side of the line. Nature is good at creating symmetry – one obvious example is a reflection in a lake. The dividing line between the two halves is called the ‘line of symmetry’. We are naturally fascinated with symmetrical patterns, and a photograph of a symmetrical location, with equal elements on either side, draws the viewer in to explore the scene in more depth.
You can have vertical and horizontal symmetry within a frame, and sometimes both in one image.
What ’s the Key?
It is easy to find symmetry in architecture, but you may have to search for it in nature. Reflections are the obvious example, but there are many other natural examples, such as this image of a starfish in the surf. I positioned the starfish in the centre of the frame and watched as the wave hit it. I didn’t imagine the image that I ended up with when I slowed the shutter speed down from 1/200 sec to 1/80 sec in order to get a little movement in the wave. It created a perfect foamy envelope, but you can still see the starfish underneath. The photograph is vertically symmetrical if you draw a line from the top to the bottom through middle of the starfish.
The key to creating symmetry is to make sure you position the subject in the centre of the frame, with any elements placed exactly the same distance apart from each other.