Seeking Symmetry


A saguaro cactus naturally seems to invite alignment; by its very form it seems to be pointing to something. It seems inevitable to position the North Star directly above, and let the turning of the earth complete the pattern. Rotation creates its own symmetry.

What it is that compels me to seek such symmetry in my compositions? I look for the sky mirrored in water. I seek out foregrounds that mimic background shapes. I center up people and animals within the frame. I am drawn to the center of tracks, tunnels and canals, where perspective leads the eye to infinity. I've traveled near and far to position myself in a direct line with the bodies of the solar system. And always, always, always I find myself trying to align the earth with the heavens. Perhaps, like all of us, I am seeking a balance, a center, an order. But do I create these patterns, or am I just getting glimpses of the grand design of the universe?

Sky   |   Earth

Yin   |   Yang

Left Brain   |   Right Brain

Answers   |   Questions

Date: April 14, 2001
Time: 12:00 midnight MST
Location: Four Peaks Road, Arizona
Camera: Olympus OM-1 on fixed tripod
Film: Kodak Ektachrome E200 slide, pushed one stop
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/4
Exposure time: 35 minutes, with flash
Scanner: Nikon Coolscan LS-2000

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Revised: April 10, 2007
Copyright © 2001 Joe Orman
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