Elias HotNatalia (2016)

Given that the corner of the building is ostensibly a 90° angle, that leaves 270° from the side of the building at frame left to the side of the building on frame right.

Were everything perfectly symmetrical–and spoiler alert: it’s admirably close, but alas no cigar–looking at this from overhead and drawing a circle around the corner of the building, the building would represent a quarter of the circle. You’d divide the remaining circumference in half, in other words: 135°.

With the camera perfectly centered on the corner of the building the camera would align perfect with the 45° bisection of the 90° building edge.

This does not do that. If you measure the 270° of the circumference that isn’t occupied by the building, then Hot has situated his camera at about 138° (It’s more on a plane with the side of the building at frame right than the other.

That shouldn’t really be a big deal. Unfortunately, it is. One thing you learn working with a camera on a tripod for long enough is that rigorous symmetry in composition is extremely goddamn difficult to achieve. Lens distortion and the fact that there’s almost no SLR viewfinder that allows you to see 100% of the frame. Add to that that things that appear symmetrical, rarely are exactly symmetrical. (Also, the up-title and that this has been cropped in post complicates things even further.)

Still, I think it’s an audacious image. I don’t think it entirely works–but there’s something dynamic about it. If it weren’t in color, it could almost be a lost photo of Edith by Emmet Gowin.

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