Photograph above taken in Lake George, NY with a Leica M6 (2002)
15 Facts About Dynamic Symmetry and Composition in Art
1. Contrary to popular belief, Jay Hambidge did not create the Dynamic Symmetry system of design - Dynamic Symmetry is over 2000 years old. Hambidges' contributions are one of rediscovery, not invention.
3. There are three primary websites that teach classical skill-based design - Adam Marelli Workshops, Canon of Design, and my site Dynamic Symmetry Art. All three of us teach the same design techniques that we learned from Myron Barnstone. For example, all of the techniques found in the Canon of Design self-published books and Adam Marelli's UDemy videos are the same techniques that I discuss on Dynamic Symmetry Art. The most significant difference between our sites is that I don't charge anything for the information and I also explore the 14 line armature of the rectangle. To download a free comprehensive list of these design techniques, click here.
Artists, photographers, and graphic designers can easily incorporate the use of root rectangles (also known as Dynamic Symmetry) in all of their compositions regardless if it's a drawing, painting, or photograph. Photographers that want to apply Dynamic Symmetry principles to their pictures will find the basic armature of the rectangle more than adequate for most of their design needs. However, for those ambitious photography students that have a desire to study other master photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine Franck, Elliott Erwitt, Eve Arnold, etc. they will discover that these artists also employed the use of overlapping root 4 Dynamic Symmetry rectangles in a 1.5 frame. All of these design concepts I thoroughly discuss on this website and in the free PDF Tips and Techniques.
7. Camera grids are completely unnecessary for applying Dynamic Symmetry in photography. In fact, they are counterproductive in the long run for improving your visual literacy skills. And no, regardless of the product claims found online, master photographers don't use them.
8. Photographers can't create complex designs like the artist that draws and paints. For this reason, complicated Dynamic Symmetry grid packs aren't necessary for the photographer. The basic armature of the rectangle is more than enough to create excellent compositions. To download a free simple-to-use Dynamic Symmetry grid pack, click here.
9. Workshops are unnecessary for learning composition. All the information on composition in art can be found in a few art books and videos on classical skill-based art.
10. The golden section rectangle doesn't have anything to do with shooting the 1.5 format (35mm film and most full-frame digital sensors). This mistake is made on practically every photography website that teaches composition.
11. The Rule of Thirds, the Rule of Odds, the Rule of Space, and Leading Lines have practically nothing to do with real design.
12. The books Pictorial Composition and the Critical Judgment of Pictures and Pictorial Composition: An Introduction by Henry Rankin Poore have the same information. The only difference between these two books is the ease of use and the publishing dates. The book Pictorial Composition: An Introduction is more user-friendly.
13. The best books written about composition by a modern-day master artist are Classical Drawing Atelier and Classical Painting Atelier by Juliette Aristide. Unlike the self-published books found online, they are of the highest quality, and the information is spot on.
14. The best videos available for learning more about Dynamic Symmetry are the Myron Barnstone Drawing DVD series - specifically lessons 7 & 10. These videos are of the highest quality and value for the serious art and photography student.
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