The Golden Ratio - Composition with the Fibonacci Spiral

The Golden Ratio - Composition with the Fibonacci Spiral

Exploring the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Spiral

In the field of photography, one often encounters references to the concepts of the golden ratio or golden spiral. These mathematical principles have a rich and complex history that dates back to ancient times. Though some evidence suggests that the roots of these mathematical constructs were first discovered around 300 BC, the precise origin is difficult to pinpoint and may, in fact, be lost to antiquity.

Among the earliest known proponents of these principles was the Greek mathematician Euclid, who laid the foundation for much of classical geometry. Almost concurrently, the Fibonacci sequence, a related but distinct mathematical construct, made its first known appearance in Indian mathematics. The earliest known records of this sequence date back to approximately 400-200 BC.

It is essential to recognize that both the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence are ancient, and the original source of both remains shrouded in mystery. A notable distinction between these two constructs lies in their mathematical calculation: The golden spiral has an outward to inward progression, whereas the Fibonacci spiral has an inside to outside pattern.

The design of the Golden Spiral or the Fibonacci Spiral

In the context of my own photographic approach, I emphasize with the idea of the Fibonacci spiral, chiefly concerning the framing of subjects rather than simply placing them within a frame. This preference for the Fibonacci spiral over the golden spiral is a stylistic choice rather than one grounded in deep mathematical reasoning. It must be noted that this choice might not align with every individual's aesthetic sensibilities, and I fully acknowledge that opinions may vary in this regard. Thus, in the context of this guide, we shall refer to it as the Fibonacci spiral, with the understanding that this nomenclature is rooted in artistic preference rather than mathematical necessity.