2021 WEEK 26: Symmetry

The desire for symmetry, for balance, for rhythm in form as well as in sound, is one of the most inveterate of human instincts. – Edith Wharton

I’ve long been fascinated by symmetry and thought it would be fun to do a symmetry challenge this week. You can accomplish this challenge in one of two ways: in camera or in post-processing.

Peruvian Lily x2 by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

If you want to work in-camera, you might look for a subject that is symmetrical. This may be a man-made object such as architecture, vehicles, tools, etc. Some of these objects may only be symmetrical from a certain perspective, so don’t forget to look at objects from all angles.

Minimalist Patterns by Eric Minbiole
(A bottoms-up view of powerlines.)

Or you might find inspiration in nature with symmetrical flowers or leaves or fruit, etc.

2016 WEEK 37: B&W – SHAPE by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Or a symmetrical arrangement of the same. (Feel free to make your own symmetrical arrangement of a group of objects.)

CSU Oval (IR) by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

You can also create symmetry using a reflective surface such as a calm body of water or a mirror-like table top.

Tampa Picture Perfect Reflection Wide by Matthew Paulson

There are of course some tips that will help you make photos with perfect symmetry in-camera, such as positioning yourself perfectly centered in relation to your subject, holding your camera perfectly level and parallel to the subject, etc. Here are some great articles if you have never tried this before:

2019 WEEK 7: Interior Architecture by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero
Tip: A tripod is very helpful in a shot like this so that you can take time to make sure all of the lines are level and symmetrical.

Alternatively, you can create symmetry in post-processing along one or more axes. One thing I like about creating the symmetry in post-processing is that you tend to get depth along with the symmetry. I.e. if you take a photo with a shallow depth of field or with leading lines or any other compositional technique that helps the viewer see depth in your photo, then that also shows up when you manipulate that photo to create symmetry in post-processing as in the photo below.

2019 WEEK 03: Square Crop, Centered Subject by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero
For this image, the original photo was cropped and then flipped both horizontally and vertically, i.e. along two axes.

If you are interested in trying a post-processing technique, here are links to some tutorials:

There are also numerous phone apps which will create a mirror-image effect on your photos.

Most importantly, have fun this week!


This week’s challenge summary:

  • Create a photo that contains symmetry, either in-camera or in post-processing.
  • Post your photo during the week of Sunday, June 27 and Saturday, July 3.

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo: #2021photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2021 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

About thedigitaljeanie

I’m a self-taught photographer and way back when I used to love taking photos, but I allowed a business that I started in 2004 to take over my life and my photographic repertoire was reduced to quick product shots and how-to tutorials. When I joined the PhotoChallenge in December 2015, I was looking to rekindle my creativity and bring some joy back into my photography. I jumped in with both feet and have not looked back. I believe that photography can change the way we see and interact with the world around us. Some people may think that I hide behind the camera, but I feel that I experience the world in a much more intimate way when I am creating a composition in my viewfinder. In those moments distractions disappear, my mind focuses and I am fully present. It is just me and my camera capturing a moment in time that might otherwise go unnoticed. My background is as varied as the photos that I take. I’ve trained and worked as a software engineer, a massage therapist, an English teacher in Vietnam, a photo restoration artist (which is how I learned Photoshop) and for the past twelve years I have run a small software business with my husband where I have been published in numerous books and magazines, appeared on PBS television, created designs for fabric, quilts and machine embroidery and won awards for some of my quilts. It should come as no surprise that I am intensely curious about life and love to learn new things. I am blessed to live in the beautiful state of Colorado, USA in the Rocky Mountain foothills outside of Fort Collins with my husband and cat. You can find me online at: Photos: flickr.com/photos/the-digital-jeanie/ Day job: KaleidoscopeCollections.com Facebook: facebook.com/jeaniesa