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Applying Golden Ratio in Photography

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Experience, intuition and creative thinking make a big difference in the visual quality of photographs. There are also certain other factors with mathematical relevance that can create pictures which stand out.

As a viewer, you may feel that a photograph is exceptionally intuitive. But, studying photography through photography courses can help you gain insights on how to apply mathematical theories that result in creation of such pictures.

If your photography training institute is helping you understand the hidden theories of working behind impactful pictures, then you must step up your efforts to learn more. Hamstech Institute is one reputed school for photography that leads budding photographers to become professionals by giving an in-depth knowledge and pertinent know-how throughout their curriculum.


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In extraordinary photographs, one striking element to consider is the balance of its visual elements. Adhering to certain measurements is proven to create visually well-composed and well-balanced images. One such is the Golden Ratio.


Golden what?


The Golden Ratio is a design principle based on the ratio 1:1.618. Said to be the perfect number, it’s found in every creation we know. Applying it to a photograph or an artwork is believed to create an aesthetically well defined piece of art.


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Clicking Gold


Guessing how Golden Ratio applies to photography? Of course, one cannot click photos all the time in the Golden Ratio. But to begin with, you can try setting your photos to the Golden Ratio. You can do this with a simple calculation.

Take a picture. Measure the length of its shortest side. Multiply it with 1.618. Set the longest side’s length to the resulting number. The picture now will give the feel of a much better composition.

With experience and observation, you’ll develop an instinct to identify shots that have rich content and look stunning when the Golden Ratio is applied.


Is that all?


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Going by the history of Golden Ratio applied to artistic masterpieces like Monalisa and the Last Supper, it’s worthwhile to know a little more about its relevance in photography. In photography, applying the Golden Ratio results in the composition corresponding to one of the two main classes; the Phi Grid and the Fibonacci Spiral.


The Phi Grid


Similar to the very popular composition theory, the “Rule of Thirds”, the Phi Grid also divides the frame into 3 horizontal and vertical grids. Major visual elements are found at the intersection of the division. The only difference is that while Rule of Thirds divides the frame into 1:1:1 ratio, Phi Grid divides the frame into a 1:0.618:1 ratio, as derived from the Golden Ratio.


The Fibonacci Spiral


The origin of the Fibonacci Spiral dates back to 12th century AD when Leonardo Fibonacci, a mathematician, devised a series of numbers (the Fibonacci Series) that created aesthetically pleasing compositions.

If you create a series of square divisions in the frame, creating a virtual spiral using Fibonacci number series, the spiral path will naturally and smoothly lead the eyes to certain parts of the image. This is besides creating a well balanced image. Go ahead and try this in your photography classes.

Applying mathematical theories like the Golden Ratio and Rule of Thirds help photographers create nearly perfect or perfect photographic compositions. With disciplined and matured observation, any photographer can acquire the skill and specialise in it.

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