The latest Lens-Artists Challenge is ‘Symmetry’ and so I have been looking at it with a new eye, and finding it everywhere!
Here the axis runs vertically through middle, giving a right and left side that mirror each other. Thinking about it, I suspect that all living moving creatures are vertically symmetrical: animals, birds, fish, insects.
Human beings are symmetrical although I rarely take photos of them behaving in a symmetrical manner, possibly because without great lighting they end up looking like mug shots. When someone is especially simpático with someone else they often mirror the other’s body positioning – how can you tell these two have been good friends since grade school? Vehicles appear to be designed for the most part in a symmetrical fashion – boats, cars, planes… I wonder why? Are they more stable this way? Architecture comes in a variety of variations and can be symmetrical but often it is not. I had a hard time finding an example of symmetrical architecture photographed straight through the middle with one side equalling the other.
Horizontal symmetry, with the axis running horizontally through the object, was a lot harder to find.
This big mouth clam with its spectacular green lips was the only living example, although it’s also horizontally symmetrical if looked down at from above. Here I finally found a symmetrically-taken photo of the marble facade of the Taj Mahal (itself vertically symmetrical), also horizontally mirrored in the reflecting pool. It was in my reject piles – perhaps perfect symmetry in a photo is a bit too static? In the end all the horizontal symmetry I could find were reflections, where the top side was mirrored below. This seagull was perched on a floating yellow buoy reflected in the water off of Belfast’s Maritime Trail, Ireland. A gleaming raven struts along the beach in Tofino.
This is symmetry that radiates out around a central point.
Many plants have both lateral symmetry, in the actual leaves for the most part, and radial symmetry in the flowers and the way the leaves grow arrayed around the centre of the plant. Danish-designed light fixture in the Design Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. Domed Art Deco ceiling of the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Sea urchin skeleton at Playa Blanca, Costa Rica. More of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Symmetry.
Such an interesting post on symmetry / the two friends and the man with blue trousers were favs today – for the symmetrical take but also for mood and humanness
Symmetrical photos of people don’t usually work unless you have great lighting. The two friends was just a quick chance shot when I saw how engaged they were with each other, and the smiley eyes of the old man in Laos made the shot.
Wow. Great photos. Love the people shots. I don’t think I’ve seen a single other person do a people shot. Well done.
A lot of head-on people shots end up looking like mug shots – the trick appears to be to find good lighting, and then a person that is interesting to look at, which in my books is mostly old people like my old Laos gentleman!
Ah, some lovely images!
I really enjoyed your post, Elizabeth. Great examples of symmetry. I liked your thoughts too on symmetry in humans and the natural world. I’m so glad you kept the photo of the Taj Mahal. It’s beautiful. So is the image of the doorway and tiled pavement.
The Taj Mahal is so beautiful that it can get away with anything – I don’t think there is a bad photo of it out there, and there must be million!
Yes, but I loved your close up view.
Terrific examples Elizabeth. I especially loved all of your radial examples. I think my favorite was the light fixture.