North Lake, Eastern Sierra Nevada, CA
The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.618. If you want to know more about all of its meaning and usage, use this link to Wikipedia. For the sake of art and architecture and all around asesthetics, Phi (), stands for beauty and balance. Here are two pictorial representations of Phi.
- A graphical representation of Phi using the Fibonnacci spiral
- The standard view of Phi
OK, enough with the math, what does this have to do with photography? If you want to make the best, most pleasing, and emotionally appealing photograph, most of the time you must use a Phi composition to get the best possible effect. You can go on-line and look at 1000s of photographs and the best ones, in most situations, use this compositional technique, commonly referred to as the “Rule of Thirds”. This is simply a short-hand heuristic for Phi. As with most rules, it can and should be broken; however, when I am in the field, I always shoot a Rule of Thirds photo before I play with other possible compositions. It is, in my opinion, the best place to start. Continue reading