What makes a photograph compelling? This is a question I ask myself whenever I am shooting. Creating balance in a composition is the trick and there are times when it really pays off to center the subject symmetrically. 





The bow of the boat leads your eye to the fascinating limestone karst formations on Halong Bay in Vietnam. 

Black and White, Vietnam, Landscape, Nikon

Ship’s Bow, Halong Bay




Staring into the eyes of a Great Horned Owl is mesmerizing and choosing a centered close-up accentuates his intense gaze. 

Owl, Close-Up, Bird, Wildlife

Look Into My Eyes




Subjects in threes create a pleasing symmetry. 

Doors, Architecture, New Orleans

French Quarter Blues






Textures and colors are the focal point in this image of a wrought iron gate. 

Recoleta Iron,  Buenos Aires

Recoleta Iron, Buenos Aires






Columns are an interesting challenge in composition. 

Architecture, Black and White,

Columns and Door, Legion of Honor






Shooting a mirrored landscape reflection is a great way to use symmetry.  

Maroon Bells, Aspen

Maroon Bells, Aspen






This church door in Sydney called for a centered composition that made the lines, details and colors stand out.

Architecture, Door, Sydney

Church Door, Sydney




“One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.” ~ Annie Leibovitz






The Weekly Photo Challenge is Symmetry.


Categories: Architecture, Black and White, City Scenes, Nature, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo ChallengeTags: , , , , , , ,


  1. Haven’t visited you in awhile… Have missed your posts!, love the blue Sydney church and that owl… Wow!! Hope you are well! See you soon back at KI!! Love, Linda

  2. I don’t know how most people comment week after week regularly. I know that I have been very lax in following your work even though it shows that I follow your blog. But after today with this post and the others I have peeked at, I will make more of an effort to visit if, for no other reason than to improve my own work by learning from you! What fantastic work individually and as a whole.

    • You are very kind, Emilio, thank you very much. I’m glad you like what you see and enjoyed the images. It’s very difficult to keep up with it all. Hope to see you again soon. PS The only way to access your site is through your Gravatar. Otherwise, I get a warning from WP when I click on your address. Thought you should know.

  3. Your photos never deceive Jane, they are all superb 🙂

  4. Perfect photos of symmetrical scenes… So inspiring!

  5. I always do enjoy seeing the world through your eyes 😉

  6. Great photos! Really good composition, framing and the light is beautiful 🙂

  7. All wonderful examples of subjects and scenes that work well centered. The tension off-centering provides is not the goal for every photo. Order and tranquility are often better conveyed through symmetry as in your images here!

  8. Beautiful photos Jane ~ you have got an incredible eye…and something I think is really quite difficult to develop. The ‘look into my eyes’ is my favorite…something perfect and striking, with the mystery that eyes always hold of what is within those eyes.

  9. Hi Jane. I love this series. You have a marvelous eye for composition. Have a great day.

  10. Wow… what a diverse series here for the theme!!!

    Each one is unique and my favorite is the reflection of the mountains and sky in the lake (Maroon Bells, Aspen), can’t we ask for a more symmetrical image… I really doubt 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  11. Love this Jane…awesome composition and very nice b+w processing!

  12. What a great series of images Jane. Happy to have been introduced to your site which I look forward to following. Thanks for the visit and best wishes.

  13. La foto de Maroon Bells me ha gustado mucho, un gran trabajo

  14. Really wonderful shots … Loving the owl…. Crazy!! How did u ever get that???😘

  15. Wow! Incredible beautiful pictures! Pure inspiration!

  16. The answer to your question of what makes a photograph compelling… That’s easy: JANE LURIE!! 😇 💕 🌵Barbie

  17. All terrific choices Jane, but I’m drawn to the columns in B&W. Hadn’t seen that one before. Beautiful

  18. I especially love your take on symmetry in the blue doors and the Halong Bay. Those two really let the viewer go beyond traditional ideas of symmetry and delve into ideas about balance and the role of proportion.

  19. A really fine collection of pictures.
    They are all really good in their own way – I cannot even pick a favorite one.

  20. Beautiful photographs Jane – the compositions and explanations are terrific.

  21. Love this — photos & text! 💕

  22. Absolute stunning photos. I loved all of them. I really liked the last photo of Aspen. What time of the day you clicked this reflection when you found water to be so still…??

    Thanks, Suyash

  23. Excellent compositions Jane, and the colours are stunning, but the 2 you have put in B & W are a perfect comparison.

  24. What a well done description of centered composition as well as stunning examples of your work Jane. I found myself totally involved with each image. While, as you well know, there are so many rules of photography, like the Rule of Thirds, your work shows that they are simply suggestions to consider following. While off-center composition often adds visual interest and sometimes, visual tension, centered composition can do an amazing job of placing the viewer in the center of the action and give them a feeling of being right there with the subject. Your work is always a delight to experience and your talent and passion for photography, life and nature shows through in all your work. Thank you! ~Rick

    • Hi Rick, How kind of you to respond so thoughtfully. I’m glad I managed to convey the idea of when centering is impactful and I agree, we more often compose off-center for interest. Thank you – your work is an inspiration so it means a lot.

  25. Generally you create more interesting and dynamic compositions by not framing the subject symmetrically. But sometimes – as these examples show – it’s exactly the right thing to do. Lovely images, Jane.

    • Hi Otto– Agree completely. More often than not I am trying to place my subject off-center in the composition which I find to be more pleasing. This theme made me think about the images that worked better centered. So glad you liked them– thank you.

  26. Beautiful photos Jane! I’m a sucker for symmetry!

  27. Beautiful compositions, Jane. Loved the Legion of Honor, an all-time favorite when I’m in San Francisco, too. Maroon Bells is magnificent! You caught the best features..

  28. What I love about the ship’s bow photo: The symmetry of the the man-made, carrying one into the asymmetry of nature. The calculated device transporting one into the incalcuable mystery. The voyage from the known into the unknown. Love that photo.

  29. Great seeing your symmetry in photos. Remember that owl flying over – silently! Miss you.

  30. Hey there Sister!
    Hope you are well! I love the black and white ship’s bow in Halong Bay and the beautiful face of the great horned owl. Thanks for sharing!
    Take care & best to Bob.

  31. Great photos!!!

  32. Reblogged this on Santa's Reindeer and commented:
    a beautiful post on symmetry….

  33. Beautiful images. My favourites are “look into my eyes” and “church door” : )

  34. Good Job! I like this!!!!

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