Startling Symmetry

The search for symmetry, and the emotional pleasure we derive when we find it, must help us make sense of the the seasons and the reliability of friendships.

Alan Lightman

In taking photographs, I more commonly seek to change out of a symmetrical view. I try mostly to get an angle on the subject and to achieve some flow through or around the image.

If I doing a portrait, I’ll ask the subject to turn his/her head to the side slightly and then look back into the camera lens. It takes away some symmetry from the image gives a more appealing gentler look. If you take a photograph of a head straight on, it seems so much more confrontational (which is sometimes the desired effect, as with sports stars). It appears to be much more direct and it’s harder to take your eyes of the face in the image.

With other images with that vertical symmetry, I feel it actually has the same effect. You find your eyes have to return to the centre of the image and there’s no where to go; no where to hide. They are also to a degree confrontational – but not in a bad way.

Underview of the Kingston Bridge, Glasgow


In Northern Italy, 2006


Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow


at Classic Car show


I’ve been really serious so far, but I’m going to finish off with a reflection of a goosander duck………… I’d have to title it ‘Mooseander’ (not quite symmetrical)


Thanks to Patti, for issuing the Lens-Artists Photo challenge – Symmetry. It’s great to respond to these challenges and have a look through my images to find suitable pics.

The opening image was of St. Mary’s Church in Haddington, East Lothian.

15 thoughts on “Startling Symmetry”

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