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Creative Mirrored Portraits Shot with Symmetrical Lighting


If you have a Mac, you’ve probably played around with the mirror effect in Photo Booth. Photographer Bart Nagel takes mirrored photos to a new level with his new project A/symmetrical. Nagel shoots portraits with symmetrical lighting, cuts the portrait in half, mirrors each half, and puts the three photos side by side, resulting in three similar looking people that look slightly off.

He writes,

Life is coded in the face; experience is expressed through variation in the features. Dissecting and mirroring a person’s face can reveal interesting luggage — even left baggage.

For this series, subjects are photographed in the studio with a symmetrical lighting configuration. They attempt to keep their heads plumb, level, and square. Later, in Photoshop, the frame is duplicated and flipped horizontally: the left side of the face is matched to the copied left side, and the right side to the right. Three options are then presented, including the unaltered original. Often, distinctly different personalities are revealed — a skeptic, perhaps, and an optimist; an introvert and his evil doppelgänger; a moonshiner and a drifter.

A/symmetry is currently a work in progress. You can see more photos from this series over on Nagel’s website.

Image credits: Photographs by Bart Nagel and used with permission