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Golden section in photography: history, rule, examples
Golden section in photography: history, rule, examples

Any photographer, beginner or not, strives to create a photograph with a proportional and aesthetic composition. For these purposes, the rule of the golden ratio in photographs is used. Without a doubt, working with photography is a creative process, but it also has certain rules and a way of thinking. They are not immutable, and they are often ignored these days for creating unusual avant-garde shots. But in order to ignore or play around with these laws and not get a simple “daub” as a result, you should be able to apply them.

The history of the golden ratio rule

Back in 1200, the great Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci discovered a phenomenon that he called the "divine proportion", in other words the "golden section". By some miracle, he was the first to notice that nature has its own special design, a pattern that is incredibly pleasing to the human eye to observe.

Look here - the golden ratio in architecture.

The golden ratio in architecture

This rule consists in the correct location of the aspect ratio, or rather 1:1, 618. Artists have used this method sinceduring the Renaissance, creating their amazing and vibrant paintings, which, thanks to following this rule, look very natural and organic.

Examples of the golden ratio:

Golden ratio in examples

Schemes for detailed study of the rule

The golden ratio in photography is usually seen through several schemes. The first is the Fibonacci grid, the second is the Fibonacci spiral. The advantage of the scheme using a spiral is that when reviewing a photograph, the human eye will gently move along the photo, without straining to examine the details. Thus, the composition of the photo will be harmonious and natural, pleasant to look at. The grid divides the frame into 9 parts, two lines along and two across.

The essence of it is that the horizon should be placed in one of the resulting thirds, and not in the middle of the frame. Thus, the picture should be two-thirds of the sky or two-thirds of the earth. The same object on which it is planned to focus the viewer's attention should be placed at the intersections of the lanes. Thus, the resulting frame will also be harmonious and pleasing to the eye. In fact, the main difference between the rule of the golden section and the rule of thirds in photography is that the parameters in the first case are 1:0.618:1, and in the second - 1:1:1.

To put it simply, the rule of thirds is a simplified rule of the golden ratio. This opinion was expressed in 1797. It was then that it became clear that a photograph or painting, from the point of view of composition, according to these rules, looks the most profound and touches the soul. Artist orthe photographer thus focuses on really important things, allowing even an unenlightened person to see what the author wanted to show.

One example of applying the golden ratio to the landscape in the picture below.

An example of the golden ratio in a landscape

To help you better understand the golden ratio in photography, examples are given below.

Reasons for certain rules and practices

These rules appeared for a reason. After a lot of research, people began to understand that it is easier and more pleasant for the human eye to concentrate on one of the intersection points. It is then that the object that artists or photographers want to pay attention to attracts the most attention to itself than if it were located in the middle of the frame.

golden ratio in photography

For a better understanding of the rule of the golden ratio in photography, you should know: to focus on the foreground of the photo, you should position the frame so that two-thirds of it covers the ground, but if the focus should be on clouds or an object in the sky, you should take two-thirds of the frame with the sky.

For people who cannot determine by eye where the necessary divisions of the frame should go, there is a grid on the camera itself, mainly such a grid is found on semi-professional and professional cameras.


In conclusion, it must be said that any rule in the creative process can be broken. After all, inspiration and desire to create somethingunique cannot be silenced. Thus, it is worth remembering that, having studied the rule of the golden ratio in photography, you should not mindlessly use it everywhere and everywhere. Sometimes the best shot is the one that was created on a whim and against all the rules. But only by knowing how to apply them in practice, you can succumb to the creative impulse and create amazing shots.

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