Improve Photography composition with Golden ratio

Golden Ratio is probably one of the most mysterious rules of photography. Not only because it’s too scientific, but it’s also not easy to apply without any additional help. So what is this Golden Ratio, and how you can improve your photography composition with it?

Let’s get back to the fact – how composition grids are used in general. All of them are created to put the elements of composition in order. Some items will be positioned along the lines, others may be positioned at intersections. Why artists and photographers do it? This method is used to guide the eye movement of the viewer and attract attention to specific details of the picture. In other words, it’s an attempt to control the impression created by an image.

Improve Photography composition with Golden ratio

While, in painting, the artist could think in advance and build composition for a while; photographers are not that lucky. They do have a chance to build the composition in commercial photography, but when they shoot a street or a concert or an event, it’s just not possible. But if you learn the composition rules, you may apply some of them during the shoot, and then perfect the photographs with the cropping tool during the post production in Adobe LightRoom (Just press ‘o’ when you work with the ‘crop tool’ and you will see many grid options one after another). You may find that most of the grids will work with good images and won’t help much to the bad ones. 

So what is Golden Ratio?

The Golden Ratio is also known as Fibonacci Ratio which is approximately equal to 1:1.618. It’s not only represented by a spiral but by many other shapes, the key is proportion. The Renaissance artists were engaged with the science. They were researching everything. They were trying to understand human bodies and did experiments on it, Leonardo was trying to build up the flying machine, alchemists were trying to get the gold out of the lead (Plumbum). Obviously within all this passion, the fine art was influenced by science. The composition elements were placed on a specific grid, they were in specific proportions and particular quantities (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21… Is Fibonacci Sequence). Everything had its meaning, simple still life in a “Last Supper” would tell us a story about the character, the smile of Mona Lisa was not just a smile but something more. So, shall we go that deep when we simply make some pics for Social media? Hmm. Definitely a food for thought. 

The grids which represent Golden Ratio.


Seeing so many grids, the first question that arises is how can it be helpful? Well, being honest, most of this grids will be applied after the shoot, not during the shoot. If you photograph a lot and try to perfect your pictures with every second click, you may find that you already follow the golden ratio rule naturally. After all, as they say, it’s a natural harmony, so if we aim balanced pictures, we will end up with the images close to the Golden Ratio proportion.

In conclusion, I will give you a very non-scientific advice. Follow your heart and intuition, try to feel the composition. See as many Renaissance paintings, as you can, here is the wonderful collection, check it out.
And if you want to be inspired by the magic of Golden Ratio, watch the video below. It’s absolutely inspiring and self-explanatory masterpiece.

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