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Symmetry in Nature

October 22, 2009 If you're a city boy, like me, and you see a pineapple growing for the first time, you might think, like I did, that it looks wrong. I just never pictured a full grown pineapple sitting atop a plant. I can easily imagine, if the pineapple plant wasn't bearing fruit, you might think to dig - like in Jaimal Yogis account of starving in Hawaii - looking for a tuber like fruit. So, when I decided to take a photograph of the pineapple on the plant, I instinctively tried to capture an image illustrating this unusual looking plant.

It didn't work. Well, that is to say, from an interesting photographic composition stand point, taking a picture of the whole pineapple plant didn't result in a "good" photograph. Sure, it illustrated the way a pineapple grows, but it wasn't what I was looking for in a photograph. It didn't matter what direction I approached the plant - as it grows symmetrically from a central point - I couldn't get an interesting composition.

The symmetry led me to the composition. Looking straight down at the plant, I attempted to capture the radial design of nature. In nature, this design helps the plant to catch as much moisture as it can on its native dry wind swept hillsides. In photography, this symmetrical pattern is pleasing to the eye and helps to bring a level of abstraction to the composition.

You can’t go wrong with nature.



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