Symmetry is defined as a line that bisects an image in half, where both sides are a mirror image of each other. This line is unsurprisingly, known as the Line of Symmetry. In photography, as in Art and most things, the human brain finds symmetry especially pleasing and in some people like those suffering from OCPD, compulsory.
Of course, in photography, as in nature, perfect symmetry is hard to find. The human face may appear symmetrical, but look closely and usually one side is slightly smaller than the other. The usual line of symmetry in photography is one that is perpendicular to the horizon, the vertical line of symmetry. The other is where the line of symmetry follows the horizon again, not surprisingly, this is the horizontal line of symmetry.
To perfect this type of photography is difficult as it means standing exactly in front of the subject. A very slight deviation will make the photograph appear distorted. Positioning the camera high or low can also enhance/diminish the photograph’s aesthetics.
Alternatively, there is also using Asymmetry in photography. This is harder to master as it involves positioning the subject/object offcentre, thus throwing out the aesthetic composition, so usually so usually something needs to be included in the opposite area to the subject. This can be anything from a small, or a number of small, objects, or a filler, like a wall, cliff, woods etc. This gives symmetry by balancing the subject on one side with a ‘plain subject’ on the other.
Top row: Top left: Leeds Armoury tower, Top middle top: Leeds Armoury tower (detail), Top middle bottom: Peggy and Alex Caird reserve Ramsgate reserve lifeboat, Top right: Ramsgate Eastcliffe painted stairs.
Second row: Left: MShed crane, Bristol, Middle: Lloyd’s building, London, Right: Mackerel sky and campanile, London Museum of Steam and Water.
Third row: Top left: Bleeding hearts – Dicentra spectabilis, Bottom left: Wolfgang Buttress’s Hive with jumping child in the centre, Right: Wolfgang Buttress’s Hive with child and toy buggy centred.
Fourth row: Nelson’s stairs, Somerset House, London.
Fifth row: Top left: Rose pergola, RBGK, Middle left: Rose pergola, RBGK, Bottom left: Contrails, Kew Bridge, Right: West Middlesex Hospital Physiotherapy unit fire escape.
Sixth row: Left: West Middlesex Hospital Physiotherapy unit fire escape. Left middle: Tower and glass facade, Fenchurch Street, Right middle: Oriental paperbush – Edgeworthia chrysantha, RBGK. Right: Boris Bikes and cherry blossom, Southwark.
Seventh row: Left, Glass facade, London Bridge, Right top: London Bridge arches, Right bottom: Clifford tower, York.
Eighth row: Left, Ginger flower head – Zingiber officinale, Right top: Bromeliad, RBGK, Right middle: Bridge and reflection, River Lee, Elizabeth Park, Stratford, Bottom right: Sphinx, Crystal Palace.
The definition of Pattern is a repeated design, a regular or intelligible sequence. It can be repeated shapes, objects or colours. Patterns are all around us, whether manmade, or natural. To get the most from patterns, the subject should fill the frame so that all the detail is captured. The positioning of the camera is also important. Is it best to be photographed from above? Low down? At an angle? Often a subject is seen because of its regular pattern, however nature particularly, often presents irregular patterns that are as pleasing to the eye. Another way of using patterns is to use a variety of objects that are similar but of different sizes or colours, or objects of one colour but different shapes. To break what can be perceived as the monotony of pattern, an anomaly can be incorporated. A bird flying across a series of windows that are symmetrical? This is a very hard setting to find naturally, and a contrived shot looks just that, but when it works it can be fantastic.
Top left: Roundabout reflection, London zoo, Top right: Pumpkins, RBGK.
Second row: Left: Giant lego blocks, DC Art of the Brick by Nathan Sawaya, Southbank, Right: Bromeliads, RBGK.
Third row: Top left: Macchia, Dale Chihuly, Halcyon Gallery, New Bond Street, London, Bottom left: Chandelier, Dale Chihuly, Halcyon Gallery, New Bond Street, London, Centre: Persian glass sculpture glass ceiling, Dale Chihuly, Halcyon Gallery, New Bond Street, London, Top right: Peacock – Pavo cristatus, RBGK, Bottom right: Detail, wall sculpture, Shoreditch,
Fourth row: Left: Wooden fixture, Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, Middle left: Detail, Fibonacci Flip 2010, Peter Randall-Page, London Clinic, 22 Devonshire Place, London. Middle right: Detail A Thousand bottles of tears, Deborah Tompsett, Oxo Gallery, London, Right: ‘Topp’s Tiles’ facade on building, Southwark, London.
Fifth row: Top left: Sempurvivum, RBGK, Bottom left: Toy cars – detail, Right: Toy cars display.
Sixth row: Left: Toy cars, Right: Asian woven Jewellery, Broadstairs Folk Week craft tent.
Seventh row: Left:: Metal enamelled chickens, Broadstairs Folk Week craft tent, Top right: Metal enamelled chickens, Broadstairs Folk Week craft tent, Middle right: Gull feet – detail, Canopy Central atrium, British Museum, London, Bottom right: Gull feet, Canopy Central atrium, British Museum, London,
The definition of texture is the feel, appearance or consistency of an object. Texture is usually identified in a tactile way, but it can be perceived visually.
So how can texture be photographed? The first thing is the detail. There should be contrast, either by colour or tone, otherwise the photograph will appear flat. Positioning the camera is all important, and fill the frame. The objective is to photograph the texture, not the subject which may detract from the photograph. Another thing to consider is light. Texture is best caught taking the shot with lighting from the side, or positioning the camera such that the texture creates shadows to enhance the texture. This type of photography is often done at macro level.
Another area is information. This is where texture is integral to the story of the image. An example may be a building that has a weather-worn frontage, or the wind-sculpted sand on a beach. It is important to identify how texture is going to be used to give further information to the viewer.
The third form is drama. This is used to enhance the photograph, often by creating atmosphere. This is often done using strong colours or contrast, but can also be done by changing shutter speed, an example being a rocky canyon, with great texture, and a waterfall taken with a slow shutter speed, to give contrast to the rocks.
Top: ~Top left: Plant leaf and water droplets, RBGK, Top right: Wizened red pepper side view, Top middle: Wizened red pepper top view, Top right: Wizened red pepper bottom view.
Second row: Top left: Giant alium head and bees, Bottom left: Chewbacca and Han Solo Lego picture, BrickLive, Southbank, Right: Han Solo Lego picture – detail, BrickLive, Southbank.
Third row: Left: Rotolo, Chihuly, Halcyon gallery, New Bond Street, London. Right: Glass spikes, Chihuly, Halcyon gallery, New Bond Street, London.
Fourth row: Marble head – Emily Young, Craft Fair, RBGK, Top Right: Mackerel sky and campanile, London Museum, Steam and Water, Brentford, Middlesex, Bottom right: Young pine cone, RBGK,
Fourth row: Top left: Light installation, Science Museum, London, Bottom left: Plastic cups, Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, London, Centre: Promotional beauty poster behind shattered door, Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, London, Right top: Promotional beauty poster detail, behind shattered door, Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, London, Right bottom: Mickey Mouse silhouette? Fibonacci Flip 2010, Peter Randall-Page, London Clinic, 22 Devonshire Place, London.
Fifth row: Left: Concrete wood effect, Arches, London Bridge station, Left middle: Lighthouse, harbour mole, Whitby, Yorkshire, Right middle: Detail – Lighthouse, harbour mole, Whitby, Yorkshire, Right: Brick blocks – Fernando Casasempere, Sculptures in the City, London.
Sixth row: Left: Detail, Brick blocks – Fernando Casasempere, Sculptures in the City, London. Right: Red ‘blocks’, Bosco Sodi, Sculptures in the City, London.
Seventh row: Left: Detail – Red ‘blocks’, Bosco Sodi, Sculptures in the City, London. Middle top: Water droplet on a lotus leaf – Nelumbo nucifera, RBGK, Middle bottom: Marble head sculpture – Emily Young, Right: Yellow and white orchid – Dendrobim farmeri, Orchid Festival, RBGK.
Eighth row: Left: Asian scarves, Broadstairs Folk Week craft tent. Right: Unknown fungi, RBGK.
Ninth row: Left: ‘Candelabra’ sculpture, Birmingham Museum. Top right: Cactus – Ferocactus schwarzii, RBGK, Bottom right: Water droplets on Geranium leaves.
Tenth row: Living stones: Lithops dorothea, RBGK, Right: Leaf Spirit – Simon Gudgeon, Handmade at Kew, RBGK.
Eleventh row: Left: Harle-Queen – Jilly Sutton, Handmade at Kew, RBGK. Top right: Light detail, Wolfgang Buttress’s Hive, RBGK, Middle right: Light detail, Wolfgang Buttress’s Hive, RBGK, Bottom right: Horns – Andrey Vrabchev, Handmade at Kew, RBGK.