FREE Roadmap to Create Your Next Favourite Photo
The 15-step process is involves four phases:
> Photographic intention
> Storytelling, narrative and composition
> Photo capture techniques
> Mobile photo editing to enhance the narrative
Understanding the concept of balance in photography is a crucial concept to assist you produce visually appealing images. Balance refers to the distribution of visual elements in a photograph in a way that creates a sense of harmony and equilibrium. There are two main types of balance in photography: symmetrical and asymmetrical.
Symmetrical balance occurs when the visual weight of the elements in the image is distributed equally on both sides of the photograph. This means that if you were to draw a line down the center of the image, both sides would be almost identical.
On the other hand, asymmetrical balance occurs when the visual weight of the elements in the image is not distributed equally, yet the composition still feels harmonious and balanced.
Understanding the difference between symmetrical and asymmetrical balance is important because it can have a significant impact on the visual interest and composition of your photos. In my published photo composition book Stronger Photo Composition 4-Step System, I discuss the different types of balance in detail and provide examples of how to use them effectively in your photography. By mastering the art of balance, you can create aesthetically pleasing and compelling images that will captivate the viewer.
Symmetrical balance is a type of composition in photography where the elements on both sides of the frame are balanced against each other. This means that the left and right sides or the top and bottom of the image are identical or nearly identical.
In symmetrical balance, there is a sense of stability and harmony. The elements in the frame are evenly distributed, creating a sense of order and balance. Symmetrical balance is often used in formal photography, such as portraits, architecture, and still life.
As mentioned, the key characteristic of symmetrical balance is when you divide it into two equal halves drawing a line down the center of the image, each half will be a mirror image of the other.
Symmetrical balance can be used to create a sense of calm and order in a photograph. It can be used to highlight the subject and draw the viewer's attention to the center of the frame. Symmetrical balance is often used in architectural photography to showcase the symmetry of buildings, such as the Taj Mahal or the Eiffel Tower.
In portrait photography, symmetrical balance can be used to create a sense of formality and elegance. The subject is often placed in the center of the frame, with the background and other elements balanced on either side.
Asymmetrical balance is a type of balance in photography where the visual weight of the elements in the composition is not evenly distributed. Despite this imbalance, the photo still conveys a sense of harmony and balance.
Asymmetrical balance is characterized by the use of different sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and other visual elements to create a balanced composition. The placement of these elements is not symmetrical, but rather arranged in a way that creates a sense of balance.
One of the key features of asymmetrical balance is the use of negative space. Negative space is the area around the subject that is left empty. It helps to create a sense of balance and harmony in the composition.
Asymmetrical balance can be applied in a variety of ways in photography. One way is through the use of the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a guideline that suggests dividing the frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically and placing the subject at the intersection of these lines. This creates an asymmetrical composition that is visually appealing and balanced.
Another way to apply asymmetrical balance is through the use of color. By using contrasting colors, you can create a visual balance in the composition. For example, a person wearing a red jacket in a green forest or blue seascape can create a sense of balance even though the object is smaller in size.
Asymmetrical balance can also be achieved through the use of different textures and patterns. By using different textures and patterns, you can create a sense of balance and harmony in the composition.
One of the benefits of using asymmetrical balance in photography is that it allows for more creativity and experimentation. By breaking away from the constraints of perfect symmetry, photographers can explore different angles, perspectives, and compositions to create truly unique images.
That being said, there are times when symmetrical balance can be just as effective as asymmetrical balance. For example, if you're photographing a building or a statue, symmetrical balance can help emphasize the structure and form of the subject.
While both types of balance can be effective in photography, the choice between symmetrical and asymmetrical balance ultimately depends on the message you want to convey with your image.
Of course, there are times when a combination of both techniques can be used to create a more complex and interesting composition. For example, you could use symmetrical balance to create a sense of stability in the foreground of an image, while using asymmetrical balance to create a sense of movement in the background.
In conclusion, both symmetrical and asymmetrical balance have their place in photography, and the choice between the two ultimately depends on the photographer's creative vision and the subject matter of the photograph. By understanding the differences between these two approaches, photographers can create images that are both visually striking and emotionally engaging.
When deciding which type of balance to use, it's important to consider the mood and message you want to convey. Symmetrical balance can create a sense of stability and order, while asymmetrical balance can add interest and movement to an image.
As I mentioned in my photo composition book, using symmetry can be particularly effective in landscape photography, where mirror-like reflections on water can create striking images. On the other hand, asymmetrical balance can be used to create tension and drama in portraits or still life photography.
Ultimately, the key is to experiment with both types of balance and find what works best for your style and subject matter. By understanding the principles of symmetrical and asymmetrical balance, you can take your photography to the next level and create truly captivating images.
Featured and mentioned on these sites