Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hikers on a California Hillside

A Synergy of Symmetry

The subject of this image is symmetry. 

There's a curving, grassy hillside in the image, but we don't care about the hill, the grass, or the light.

We notice the lone tree at the top of the hill. If we look more closely, we'll see the two hikers making their way along the trail in the lower left of the frame. But we don't care about the tree or the hikers, either.

What we notice instinctively, however, is symmetry.

If we turn the photo upside down, the green hillside would occupy almost exactly the same space that the blue area occupies now. The blue and green areas are almost mirror images of each other. 

a photo of Hikers on a California Hillside
Hikers on a California Hillside

Further, when we invert the photo, the tree would be where the hikers were initially, and vice versa. The tree and the hikers effectively switch places if you turn the photo upside down.

The arrangement of the components is more interesting than the components themselves. In other words, the symmetry creates synergy. The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.

The composition is balanced and, because it's fundamentally simple, easy for the eye to interpret. The green and blue areas create an interlocking pattern not unlike that of the famous Yin and Yang symbols. The view senses their relationship intuitively.

Some viewers have commented on the shape of the tree. What does it look like to you?

 Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4L IS

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

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