Combining Horizontal Symmetry with People
Image 4.11 took place during a wedding in Maine. I had just a few minutes of clear weather to complete all the photographs of the wedding party and the portraits of the bride and groom before it started raining again. Since there were no raindrops disrupting the calmness of the lake, it created a gorgeous crystal clear reflection (HLS) of the landscape. This gave me a great opportunity to apply HLS using the wedding party. The key is not to see this scene as a big rock and a tree, but to see it for its horizontal symmetrical properties. That way, you can enhance the symmetrical feel of the photograph through your composition.
Seeing Symmetry Everywhere
One day in Barcelona, Spain, I looked out my hotel window and noticed an abundance of both HLS and VLS in front of me (4.12). These symmetries are literally everywhere. We just have to train ourselves to recognize them and then apply them in our work.
4.12. I’ve marked some of the symmetry I saw in just one scene alone. There are more, but this hopefully makes it clear how you can find symmetry all around you.
After having done these exercises over and over throughout my career, I can relax and let my training do its job. During my first trip to Paris, my wife and I were walking to the elevator that takes you to the top of the Eiffel tower. I was admiring the sheer size and beauty of this magnificent structure when I instinctively felt the need to take a photo of the Eiffel tower at this exact angle (4.13). As you can see by the photo, my training kicked in when my eyes gazed through the tower and my brain recognized the strong vertical line of symmetry at this angle compelling me to stop and take this photograph. Even when you are on vacation, your training will always be there with you.