The Golden Ratio can be used as a very powerful composition tool. In photography, photographers use many tools to assist with composition. The Golden Ratio is a design principle based on the ratio 1:1.618. Its a lot of math talk that works beautifully!
This month we asked out Lowepro Storytellers to capture images using the Golden Ratio. If you would like to see how the Golden Ratio may be applied to your photos head to Lightroom, press R to open the crop tool then O until you see the spiral pop up over your image.
“The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.”
It’s an old English proverb that can easily hold true for photographers. When our first daughter was to be married, I made it clear that I did not want to be the wedding photographer… I had more important things to do, like enjoying the honour of giving away the bride to an amazing young man! We did, however, manage to do some fun engagement shoots. This is one of my fav’s from those sessions.
Canon 5D Mk III
70-200mm IS, 1250 ISO, 1/400, f4
Whether you understand the math or not, the Golden Ratio is all about placement of key compositional elements and movement throughout an image. It is a powerful tool that takes the viewer on a journey through your photograph adding a big punch to your visual storytelling.
While I’m no mathematician, applying the basic concept of the golden ratio is a go-to tool when I’m considering the composition of my photographs. And because my favorite thing to shoot is portraits, it’s fun to play around with the focal point and where your eye is naturally drawn to in the hopes it feels a bit more interesting!
When I think of the Golden Ratio I can’t help but think of the Taj Mahal. Not only because of it’s golden colors during sunset and sunrise, but because the Golden Ratio was used in it’s construction. The building was finished in 1648 and you can see the golden proportions in the width of it’s grand central arch to its width.
Honestly, while I do always think about how I compose my images, I never really consciously think about the golden ratio, or even the rule of thirds. I just try to compose my images in a way that visually flows and helps tell the story I’m trying to tell. Of course looking back I do see both compositional principles at play in many of my images. But you know what they say…learn the rules, and then break them!
Canon 5D Mark III
Shot with the Canon 135mm f/2L at f2.
Though it was raining outside, the weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of Cynthia and Warren on their wedding day. Glad to have found this amazing spiral staircase which allowed us to perfectly frame them with the Golden Ratio.