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18 Jun 2024

Asymmetrical Balance

Term: Asymmetrical Balance
Description: Asymmetrical balance in photography is a technique that creates visual harmony through the use of objects in an image which are not exactly the same, but have similar weights. By carefully arranging elements and allowing one side of the frame to be slightly heavier than the other, asymmetrical balance gives the viewer a sense of organization and interest. This balance allows photographers to create compositions that draw attention to specific parts of the scene while ensuring it still appears balanced. The combination of different weighting with interesting shapes and lines can create an image that intrigues viewers, encourages them to explore further, and ultimately brings more meaning and life to photographs.

Asymmetrical balance is a powerful technique in photography that can create visually compelling and dynamic images. Unlike symmetrical balance and radial balance, where elements are evenly distributed, asymmetrical balance involves arranging objects in a scene to create a sense of equilibrium through the careful placement of visually weighted elements. Here are some tips to help you effectively use asymmetrical balance in your photography.

balance-plateau Photo by Matthew Saville

Understand visual weight of different objects in the scene

Visual weight refers to the perceived heaviness or prominence of objects within a composition. By understanding the visual weight of different elements in your scene, you can strategically place them to achieve a sense of balance. For example, a small but visually dominant object can be balanced by a larger but visually lighter object. Experiment with different arrangements and positions to find the right balance.

balance in photography

Experiment with different focal lengths to achieve the desired effect

The choice of focal length can greatly impact the perception of balance in your composition. Wide-angle lenses can exaggerate the sense of asymmetry, while telephoto lenses can compress elements, making them appear more balanced. Play around with various focal lengths to find the one that best conveys the mood and message you want to convey.

Experiment with different crops in the photo editing process

Sometimes, achieving asymmetrical balance may require cropping the image during the editing process. Cropping allows you to eliminate or adjust elements that may distract from the overall balance of the composition. By cropping strategically, you can enhance the visual impact and strengthen the asymmetrical balance in your photograph.

Understand that asymmetrical balance can be conceptual or physical

Asymmetrical balance can be achieved in two ways: conceptual and physical. Conceptual asymmetry involves balancing elements that have different meanings or symbolic associations. For example, a small flower in the foreground can be balanced by a vast landscape in the background. Physical asymmetry, on the other hand, involves arranging objects with different sizes, shapes, or colors in a way that creates a harmonious composition. Be mindful of both approaches and experiment with them to create visually engaging photographs.

Group objects together to create asymmetrical balance

Grouping objects together can be an effective way to achieve asymmetrical balance. By arranging objects in clusters or clusters of clusters, you can create a sense of balance and visual harmony. Experiment with different arrangements, angles, and spacing to find the most aesthetically pleasing configuration.


Using asymmetrical balance in photography opens up a world of creative possibilities. By understanding the visual weight of objects, experimenting with focal lengths and crops, and considering both conceptual and physical balance, you can create dynamic and visually captivating images. Remember to keep practicing, exploring, and refining your skills, as mastery of asymmetrical balance will greatly enhance the impact of your photographs. So grab your camera, seek out interesting subjects, and let asymmetry guide you to create stunning and compelling compositions.

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Photography Basics

Understanding Balance in Photography

Balance is a compositional technique in photography that juxtaposes images within a frame so that the objects are of equal visual weight. When different parts of a photo command your attention equally, perfect balance is achieved. In photography, there are two main techniques of balance you should be aware of: formal and informal. We’ll discuss the difference between each and how they can affect your photo.