Composition: Symmetry Landscape is the challenge for #DogwoodWeek5. This was the hardest challenge yet because it was landscape which isn’t Mom’s favorite thing unless there are dogs, and winter seemed to zap her creative ideas. Nonetheless, we got it done.
What is symmetrical landscape? It is where both sides of the photograph have equal weight, and they mirror each other. Subjects are intentionally centered to look perfectly symmetrical when split horizontally or vertically in half. Now this means there are two types of symmetry, horizontal and vertical.
Horizontal Symmetry Landscape
If you draw a horizontal line across the middle of a photo with horizontal symmetry, the top will be a mirror image of the bottom. Water shots are Mom’s favorite type of horizontal symmetry. This is a photo Mom took a couple years ago at nose work camp. There is a natural line across the photo, and the bottom half is the exact mirror image of the actual trees.
Vertical Symmetry Landscape
If you draw a vertical line in the middle of a photo with vertical symmetry, each side will be a mirror image of the other. This bike rack is a good example of vertical symmetry. The posts provide the center line, and the circles mirror each other on each side. In symmetrical photos the subject is almost always in the middle of the photo. This is going against the Rule of Thirds we had back in week two, but rules are not for every situation. It all depends on what kind of look you are trying to achieve. She didn’t choose this photo because aside from the bike rack, each side is not the same.
Our Symmetry Landscape Photo Choice
Landscape is tough for us. Mom took so many different photos trying to get the right one, but none of them really achieved her desired perfection. Finally she settled on this wheel. Of course it would be much better with a dog in the photo, but that was not the assignment. Mom wanted it to be as close to an exact mirror image as possible.
- Note the wood strips on the old barn are centered
- The wheel is centered with the middle strip of barn siding
- The spokes on the wheel mirror each other
- The main reason Mom chose this photo is the snow on the inner wheel frame – it is as close as possible to being exactly the same on both sides
Does anything bother you about this photo and the symmetry? The tiny weed on the right side bothers Mom, but she doesn’t want to use photoshop to change photos, just to adjust lighting, or crop them, so it stays in the picture.
It is a very simple photograph, but we like it and think it does show symmetry landscape. What do you think?