Geometric and Symmetrical Beauty of Photographic Composition

Geometry and symmetry seem to have nothing to do with photography, but more like the content of mathematics class. When learning mathematics as a child, many students may have average algebra scores, but their geometry scores are very good.

Compared with the abstraction of algebra, geometry can directly show the beauty of mathematics. Yes, regular geometry is always the root of beauty.

Especially symmetry, which is the basis of aesthetics. In photography, disorder may create a sense of beauty, but it is a great test of the photographer’s aesthetic skills. Moreover, there is no real disorder. Any content is connected by limited or unlimited laws. Even those seemingly unnecessary pictures need to find certain laws to read better. The simplest way to create beauty is to take pictures that make others feel comfortable at the first sight, which is geometric symmetry.

The symmetry here can refer to the mirror image in a narrow sense or the contrast in a broad sense. In some way, the elements in the picture can show a comparative symmetry. The elements here can refer to emotion, light and shadow, shape or color, or others.

Let’s start with the narrow sense of symmetry, which is the content photographed by using geometric symmetry.

In urban environments, such symmetry is not uncommon, especially in buildings, where repetition is widely used, and symmetry exists in these infinite repetitions.

Just like the geometric shape widely used in buildings, whether it is square, triangle or circle, we can easily find a center point to make it spread from left to right.

Of course, we can not be limited to physical symmetry, light and shade can also include geometric shape and symmetry.

Before we want to shoot these symmetrical pictures, we first need to learn how to observe and look for symmetrical aesthetics that we often ignore in our life.

After finding symmetrical elements, you need to stand in front of the center and never deviate from the center line, otherwise the symmetry of your pictures will disappear due to the perspective relationship.

Although the perspective relationship can be corrected in the later stage, what we can do in the later stage is only to fine tune the lens distortion. In the early stage, we should try our best to shoot well. What we can do well in the early stage should not be left to the later stage. Fortunately, many cameras now have built-in gradienters, so we can clearly see whether our pictures are horizontal and symmetrical.

In addition to the left and right symmetry of the physical properties shown by the buildings, we can also take pictures of the upper and lower symmetry through the water surface. The symmetry here is not the mirror symmetry of the elements, but the contrast symmetry of the boundary. There is always a boundary where the water surface meets the ground. We take this boundary as the symmetry center to take pictures of the upper and lower separation.

The simplicity of this shooting is that we can easily find the horizontal line. In terms of picture segmentation, use central symmetry, half to half, or three part composition. You can decide 1/3 or 2/3 days.

Although the picture of shooting this kind of water surface seems to be composed up and down, and the simple picture of water surface may not attract attention, we can create a symmetrical picture by using a central element on the opposite side, or architecture, or natural landscape. To artificially create a visual balance.

Usually, when taking a geometric or symmetrical picture, the problem of the guide line will be solved accordingly. We can easily find the guide line in the picture to guide the order of viewing the image. The guide line here can be the center line or the dividing line.

If you think the simple segmentation picture is not striking or vivid enough, you can try to add a subject at the center of gravity point outside the centerline – usually the three-point point – to break the balance of the picture, which can also make the image more vivid and interesting.

Symmetry and geometry, whether in painting or photography, are a powerful tool for us to create beauty. In architectural photography or landscape photography, or even in the background of portrait photography, making good use of this element can add points to the pictures we take, making it easier for us to create pictures that are more popular and acceptable to viewers.

Whether you take a camera or not, you should always form a habit of observing the world around you. If you find good pictures, it is not too late to take a camera next time.