Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Golden Section

The Golden Section is a photographic compositional aid, by way of dividing the picture frame into different sections based on the ratio of the Golden Number (Phi). This division helps photographers in deciding the placement of the key elements in the frame.

The Golden Number

The Golden Number 1.618 identified by the Greek letter Phi was considered as key to the secrets of the mysteries of the universe. And if we observe closely there are many examples in nature that adhere to it. It is found mostly in relation to the proportions used in nature and we humans are subconsciously aware of it and it thus influences our sense of harmony and proportion.

Fibonacci Series

Leonardo Pisano Bigollo (also known as Leonardo of Pisa, Leonardo Pisano, Leonardo Bonacci and Leonardo Fibonacci) an Italian mathematician deviced a sequence of numbers based on the golden ratio and named it The Fibonacci sequence. 


The Fibonacci series starts with 0 and 1 and each number is the sum of the previous two numbers.

 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987 ...

The ratio of each successive pair of numbers in the series approximates to the golden number. For example 34 / 21 = 1.619 and 89 / 55 = 1.618

The Golden Section

The golden section is a division based on the golden number proportion and can be used as a guideline for composing the frames by placing important elements in pleasing proportion. the golden mean could be used to identify a point of division and thus could aid placement of compositional elements like the horizon, other important subject element etc. 

Fibonacci Blocks
Fibonacci Blocks - Source Wikipedia

Fibonacci Spiral
Fibonacci Spiral - Source Wikipedia

Although it does not guarantee the quality of the final image it definitely helps you better compose your frame.

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