Finchley Thompson | Symmetry


April 24, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Wouldn't it be nice if the word "symmetry" was symmetrical! Like "noon" or "madam" or "racecar" which can all have the sequence of the letters reversed and still spell the same word. Words like this are known as Palindromes and they have many forms. The three examples above can all have their letter sequences reversed but only "noon" could have a mirror placed between the two o's and the reflected image would still look like "noon". Of course the n's need to be simple lower case n's. Capital N doesn't reverse very well in a mirror like an O.

Getting back to photography, and in particular, portraits it's often said that the ideals of beauty favour the symmetrical face. In scientific studies where people had to rate the attractiveness of faces the more symmetrical the subject the higher the score they tended to generate. Of course with the advent of Photoshop it's become extremely easy to create very symmetrical portraits. And so I did a little experiment with myself. Not to find out if I could look more attractive but just to see how I would look with a perfectly symmetrical face. The results were interesting. I set up my studio lights to give as even as possible lighting across my face to make it easier to blend the halves together in Photoshop. As I was doing this as a solo project my biggest problem was getting my face exactly straight to camera. I got something pretty close though not ideal which actually made for a more interesting comparison.

From my selected image I made two mirrored images. One from the left side of my face and one from the right side. Because I wasn't exactly straight to camera one side of my face was broader and the other side narrower which made for two very different looking portraits. In fact when I posted the narrow face on Instagram I had a few friends get in touch because they thought I was looking very thin and ill. I love having friends like that :)

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