DSLR Camera Basics Tips & tricks

Golden ratio

When you want to take your composition skills to the next level, you can start thinking about the golden ratio. The term golden ratio is used in art and architecture, but also in photography. It will help you place your objects in such a way that they are aesthetically pleasing for your audience to look at. It is a rule that depends on mathematics, based on a ratio between 1 to 1.618. This is seen as the ‘perfect’ number.

There are many ways we can use the golden ratio. Two of the most common used approaches are the the Phi Grid and the Fibonacci Spiral. The Phi Grid seems to be similar to the rule of thirds, yet there is an important difference. Instead of dividing the frame in 9 equal parts (3 x 3), the ratio divides the frame into sections.

The Fibonacci Spiral has a way of naturally leading the viewers eye to the subject. It was build from a series of squares using Fibonacci’s numbers. Along the side of this each square would have the length of a Fibonacci number. When drawing circular arcs from opposite corners of each square a spiral is created.

A picture where the golden ratio is applied, is more pleasing to the eye of the viewer. The quicker a viewer can proces a picture, the more pleasing it is.

There is no right or wrong way to use composition. Some styles work better when you are photographing landscapes (Phi Grid) and others when you are taking a portret photo (Fibonacci Spiral). The best thing to do is practice. Take your camera, go outside, practice different styles of composition and figure out what works best for each picture.