Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Symmetry

noun: symmetry

1. the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis. “this series has a line of symmetry through its center”

I would venture that exact symmetry is static and not very interesting. To me, it’s the juxtaposition of similar things or balanced things that are in fact different that is most interesting. 

I think that Nature in balance is the highest example of beauty, and its type of symmetry is not architectural and mathematic except on a very cellular level. When you look at the big picture, that precision is subdued. When humans step in, they tend to force that uniformity in a way that often destroys Nature’s beauty. (If I had a photographic example of agricultural monocultures and row housing, I’d insert it here.)

 

Tomorrow is International Daughters’ Day. My three daughters are an example of symmetry in harmony, concordance and coordination. They undoubtedly share some exact cellular similarities, and in a macro view, you can spot both the resemblance and the difference in them. And they really get along well together. 

Enough structure and balance that is absolutely similar with a generous diversity that keeps the thing dynamic, not static – I think that’s a great model. For lots of things. 

Thanks to Patti for hosting this week’s challenge. Visit her post to see some beautiful architectural examples of symmetry. And happy International Daughters’ Day tomorrow!

20 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Symmetry

  1. We must be kindred spirits. I agree with your statement “I have to admit that I have no absolutely symmetrical photos in my collection” because I don’t either! I don’t like facing a building squarely and then taking a photo. It seems kind of “too perfect” in a way. That’s why I like the photos you’ve posted with people — it gives life to the composition whether they are all lined up or in groups. Nice photos all around!

  2. I love how you express this, Priscilla: “When humans step it, they tend to force that uniformity in a way that often destroys Nature’s beauty. (If I had a photographic example of agricultural monocultures and row housing, I’d insert it here.)”. You make a great point that too much symmetry is boring and can destroy nature’s apparent disorderliness (which conceals an internal or subtle order). All that sad, I love your girls–and yes, there is some symmetry in their smiles and eyes. Lovely. Beautiful, thoughtful, post. A treat to read.

  3. Your daughters are lovely Priscilla – and actually symmetry is achieved in threes especially so you hit the jackpot there! Loved your autumn road – I do miss the beautiful leaves of fall in the northeast.

    • Thanks, Tina! Symmetry in threes means that something in the middle has to be split, I guess. With that photographic “rule of threes”, I usually think of asymmetry, 2 + 1 rather than 1.5 + 1.5. Interesting. I guess it works both ways!

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