The Golden Section

On a visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London I bought this book by Scott Olsen. I thought it would make a good introduction to my work in Project 13: The Golden Section. It really intrigued me how an image can be purposely positioned according to specific ratios to make it aesthetically pleasing.

A code that seems to underlie life, the universe and everything, a pattern we instinctively recognise as beautiful…

Olsen (2009)

I am particularly interested in this because wanting to create better photographs was one of the reasons I signed up to TAOP. Whilst Olsen’s book deals with the history of nature’s greatest secret and a variety of patterns, I found page 8 the most relevant to photography, ‘Phi on the Plane’, because it referred to rectangles and this is the shape of a camera’s viewfinder. Dividing the viewfinder into thirds creates golden rectangles. I have used this in Project 13 to analyse some of my own photographs.


About Matt

Photography degree student with the Open College of the Arts.
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