Many photographers new to Dynamic Symmetry will often ask the question, "can I memorize the armature of the rectangle while I'm taking pictures." While, of course, it's a legitimate question, the reality is, the answer would be "no you can't and nor should you try."
Whenever I hear a photographer brag about how they can imagine the armature of the rectangle while they are shooting, my first thought is "Sorry, I just don't buy what you're selling." I've been studying design for over a decade now, and shooting images for 36 years, and I still can't do it. But, for argument's sake, let's think about this concept rationally.
I was in Maine this weekend and had a few hours to take some photographs. I walked the beaches, the piers, and the grounds looking for something interesting that might make an acceptable image. While I managed to take a few dozen pictures, I got several keepers that I was happy with.
As I was shooting, I thought about what is involved in taking a respectable image - one that is worth keeping around for years to come. I thought about figure-ground relationship, the arabesque, coincidences, vertical and horizontal divisions, dominant diagonals, repeated patterns, overlapping elements, edge flicker and so on. As if this isn't enough for the brain to process in 1/500th of a second, now try imagining the armature of the rectangle on top of the scene you are photographing. Yeah, right - it's nearly impossible.
Photographers that are interested in applying Dynamic Symmetry to their images should use the armature of the rectangle as an analytical tool in post processing - not try to visualize it while they are shooting. Much like attaching a camera design grid to your LCD screen, the process is too much of a distraction, and you won't end up with a strong or versatile portfolio. Additionally, because there are several ways to design in a 1.5 rectangle (including overlapped root 4 Dynamic Symmetry rectangles), photographers should never limit their compositions to one design scheme. Click here to learn more composition tips and techniques.
Photograph above (not cropped) taken at an American Red Cross event without camera grids or previsualizing the armature of the rectangle.
Art Highlights is a blog about what's going on with me, my photography, and the art world in general.