Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Composition part 14: the golden ratio

Continuing a series on basic composition rules to further enhance the quality of your photographs if you are not aware of them yet. Previous subjects:
So you have absorbed the rule of thirds, which featured in the first post in this series? Good. Now we enter the advanced version: the golden ratio. For an advanced mathematical treatment I refer you to wikipedia, but suffice it to state that the idea is similar to the rule of thirds, in that the composition is divided by horizontal and vertical lines to form a grid - but instead of exactly lying on the thirds, the position is determined by the golden ratio, as shown above. This is aesthetically even more pleasing, when the lines and focal points are used for the most important parts of the composition. In the example above (my Chained), the red nail is positioned on a golden ratio focal point, whilst all three chain parts go through the other focal points. An easy web site to use for this important compositional tool is this one. Maybe less evident and easy to apply than the rule of thirds, but definitely rewarding to explore - and one I am still discovering myself.