It's Jennifer Larson again, sharing a recent discovery I made while taking pictures.
When it comes to symmetry versus asymmetry, I generally prefer asymmetry in my photographs. I think this is because I like including the scenery, which is easier when the subject is off center. I also like scrapbooking on the white space of photos, so asymmetry is an easier way to do that.
Last month, however, two photos I took reminded me of the power of symmetry. The first shot I took at my church. A tree in the garden was beautifully vibrant, so I set my mother and sons in front of the tree and took a few shots (all photos taken with my iPhone 6). Here's my favorite:
Not much of the color is visible, but centering the subjects against the tree trunk created a great sense of stability. It seems particularly symbolic: the powerful tree behind them elicits the power of our roots. That might be the English teacher in me overanalyzing, though. Heh.
Here's my next shot where I explored symmetry:
My son turned 12 last month. The weather was nice, so I asked him to go on our deck to take a picture. I normally offset him on the deck to capture more of the trees in the yard, but this time I set him in the corner for the shot. He put his arms on the railing, which made him seem even more centered. This is a particularly moving effect for his 12th birthday, seeing as he is growing out of little boy and into young man. Centered indeed.
Thank you for reading a little bit about my epiphany into the power of a symmetrical shot! I hope that gives you ideas when you photograph.