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CCYL 13: Symmetry

Since most of us are stuck inside our homes or yards, I decided to rerun a series I did several years ago, called Cee’s Compose Yourself Lesson (CCYL).  This is not a challenge, but I suggest you play with new ideas or ways of looking at taking photos.  Hopefully this will fill your day with a little excitement and joy.  Please feel free to play along and join in the fun.

To start off with I thought I show the dictionary definition of Symmetry.

sym·me·try\ˈsi-mə-trē\                noun

  • the quality of something that has two sides or halves that are the same or very close in size, shape, and position
  • the quality of having symmetrical parts
  • balanced proportion
  • beauty of form arising from balanced proportions

Synonyms: balance, coherence, proportion, harmony, unity

A love of symmetry is something that is hard-wired into our brains.  We crave balance and harmony.  It’s how we define beautiful people.  Look at any woman the world considers to be beautiful and you will see that the left half of her face looks almost exactly like the right half.

Using symmetry in your photography can lend interest to your pictures by making them more subconsciously beautiful to your viewer’s eye.  It can elevate your subject matter, if done correctly.  For example, I shot this bridge from any number of different angles, but this angle used symmetry to emphasize the soaring supports and their gothic cathedral line.

Symmetry shows off the classic line of cars as well.  Look at the sweep of this Shelby’s hood, or the commanding elegance of this roadster.

Even the mundane can look more interesting, as this shot of my pug contemplating her chew stick demonstrates.

Using symmetry with landscapes expands the scope of the picture, as you can see from this shot looking down a stone staircase and out into a vast winter landscape rolling out for miles and miles, over city to the mountains beyond.

This restaurant looks interesting shot using symmetry, doesn’t it?  Much more interesting than a flat view of one side of it would have been.

So far we’ve been looking at vertical symmetry, where the line of symmetry that divides the two halves runs up and down, vertically through the picture.  You can also shoot with horizontal symmetry, as we see with this light and its reflection.  The line of symmetry runs horizontally, dividing the picture into an upper and lower half.


I’ve gathered a list of challenges and their hosts.  So if you know a challenge host, please direct them to my blog.  Feel free to contact me anytime.  I hope everyone will be able to use my lists.

Qi (energy) hugs


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