Black and white photo of a sculpture of horses and a woman in classical robes
CBWC,  Photographic techniques,  Themed galleries

Gallery: centred in monochrome

The desire for symmetry, for balance, for rhythm is one of the most inveterate of human instincts

Edith Wharton

When composing photos I find I usually do one of two things. I either follow the ‘rule of thirds’ (roughly) or I look for symmetry. The latter works best for architecture, for portraits (human or animal) and for some close-up and macro shots.

Although not everyone is a fan of symmetry:

Nothing oppresses the heart like symmetry. It is because symmetry is ennui, and ennui is at the very foundation of grief. Despair yawns.

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

For Cee’s Black and White Centred challenge this week I’ve pulled some symmetrical shots from my travel archives. Some were shot with the main subject in the centre; others were edited later when I realised that would work best! All were shot originally in colour and have been edited for this challenge using Nik Silver Efex. It wasn’t my intention when I started but somehow many of these seemed to call for a sepia effect. I also tried a couple of selective colour edits, for variety.

Sepia photo of a large sculpture of a person with outstretched wings

The Angel of the North


Sepia photo of a large partially ruined building

Angkor Wat just after sunrise


Black and white photo of of a building with domes and pool in front

Humayan’s Tomb near Delhi


Sepia photo of a street in the rain with pink-tinted umbrella

A rainy day in Lucca, Italy


Selectively retouched image of a pink moped in front of a gate

In Gubbio, Italy


Black and white photo of a cathedral dome

St Paul’s Cathedral, London


Black and white photo of a man in uniform

Guard at the Presidential Palace in Sofia


Black and white photo of a stone statue

At the tomb of King Kongmin, Kaesong, North Korea


Black and white photo of an ornate temple entrance

Wat Nong Sikhounmuang, Luang Prabang


Sepia photo of small bells hanging from a carved stone arch

At Wat Siphoutthabath Thippharam, Luang Prabang


Sepia photo of a carved stone face on a building

Detail of a house on the Ile St Louis, Paris


Faded sepia photo of an arch with a man in blue robes

Our guide at Telouet in Morocco


Sepia photo of an elderly man in a turban

In Khimsar, Rajasthan

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