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Thread: Fibonacci's grid

  1. #1
    Ross's Avatar
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    Fibonacci's grid

    It is very difficult when I apply Fibonacci Ratio to create composition. Issues are estimating and approximating (in defining 1:1.618 ratio).
    How about you? welcome any opinion from you.

  2. #2

    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    I tend to just think about the rule of thirds (ROT) when I shoot, because I can never see that the 'Golden Ratio' is all that much different - apart from placing the 'sweet spot' slightly closer to the centre than the rule of thirds. One of my cameras (Panasonic G1) has an overlay for ROT in the electronic viewfinder to aid composition. Perhaps there should be one for the Fibonacci grid.

    This explains it quite well.


  3. #3
    Ross's Avatar
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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    The problem is "sweet spot". You will place slightly closer or it must be placed rightly on your subject. more and more close is very difficult.

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    I don't think Fibonacci added zero; I don't think zero existed. But if you choose a point between half and a third then you won't be too far off especially if it is closer to a third.

    Thankyou for reminding me about it.

  5. #5

    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    I have heard about this before but I thought it was novel by Dan Brown. It seems as complex. I must admit I ran myself around a circular argument as I was defrosting one of the freezers My first thought was that if it is a mathematical ratio that is applied to explain why some images appear more pleasing than others then applying it as a 'rule' seems ludicrous. It must be the case that if the human brain is stimulated when viewing certain compositions then surely it is capable of applying the subconscious principle when creating an image without mathematical prompts. Then I thought about art in general and that not all viewers are equal. Some can enjoy without the need to be told what makes it enjoyable. Others need to be told why it is pleasing and to have that pleasure defined by scientific principle or their heads implode. Abstraction of thought is difficult to attain and some will never need a thirds grid or log tables and a sextant to obtain the 'perfect' composition. Others will need to prove to themselves and others that their works are scientifically underpinned as correct...regardless of the impact of the end result.

    Just as my hands lost all feeling I reached a conclusion. It does not matter If you need a grid (and I would be surprised if Rob ever uses his) fine. BUT it would be advisable to use these aids as guides rather than absolute truth. At the end of it all it boils down to instinct. You will see that as photographers on here become more experienced they no longer post threads that ask 'which is best' or 'Your Opinion Sought' They already know their image is good and they do not need Mr Fibonacci to tell them that

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    I have been a photographer for over 50-years, much of that time as a professional. I have only heard of Fibonacci lately, except that I think he might have been the owner of an Italian restaurant around the corner from my home when I was a kid. Is that the same Fibonacci? If so, he made some very good lasagna, that should qualify him to write a LAW!(LOL)

    Actually, I don't like LAWS in photography. The rule of thirds is a good guideline but, when we have to use mathematics such as Fibonacci's Law to compose our images, I no longer want to shoot pictures. I wouldn't want to get arrested by the Fibonacci Police!

    And, the Golden Ratio... I have been violating that Code of Photographic Conduct all my life, especially lately! I just tried and tried to squeeze my last panorama into the Golden Ratio and finally gave up. I feel utmost shame and hang my head in sorrow for my compositional sins...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 4th December 2010 at 10:22 PM.

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    I have to like rpcrowe's response...I know when I am looking through the viewfinder these rules are jiggling to and fro in the old grey matter, but like Mr. Crowe, I tend to ignore the formality of said rules and instead, rely on an experienced eye to guide my composition. I responded to someone recently as to whether or not centering an object was necessarily all that bad. I did one today and I am still somewhat out to lunch as to its success, though the more I look at it, the more I tend to think centering can have it's own sense of place. What do you think?

    Fibonacci's grid

    A very large Osprey perched atop the mast.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    have only heard of Fibonacci in relation to economics/finance - The Fibonacci Pull Back Theory. I generally use the ROT but move the subject closer to the entre or further away depending upon how much I want their inclusion or exclusion from the image.

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    Michael Freeman in his book on photographic composition (The Photographer's Eye) discusses the Golden Section and Fibonacci series, which he summarizes as follows, "This is all very well for a painter or illustrator, but how can photography make sensible use of it? Certainly, no one is going to use a calculator to plan the division of a photograph. Intuitive composition is the only practical approach for the majority of photographs. The most useful approach to dividing a frame into areas is to prime your eye by becoming familiar with the nuances of harmony in different proportions. If you know them well, intuitive composition will naturally become more finely tuned. As photographers, we may be able to ignore the geometry, but we cannot ignore the fact that these proportions are fundamentally satisfying."

    I have noted that in Freeman's 192-page book on photographic composition, he only briefly mentions the "rule of thirds." There are many more compositional schemes available and sticking to one tends to be limiting. I think the rule of thirds was devised to help photographers who tend to center the subject in every photo. I think most of us in this forum are beyond relying on centering and the rule of thirds exclusively and probably through practice and observation of successful photographs tend to use a modified approach.

    Regarding ChrisC's centered sailboat, I think it works. The eye is drawn to the the bird, which although small seems to be the subject of interest. I think the photo would also work with the sailboat to one side. One of the things that makes the photo work is the low horizon line which makes the sky and upper portion of the photo more important, helping to draw the eye to the bird.

    I agree with Richard in not liking Laws (or rules) in photography. They should really be treated as guidelines.
    Last edited by John C; 6th December 2010 at 12:11 AM. Reason: typo

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    Michael Freeman in his book on photographic composition (The Photographer's Eye) discusses the Golden Section and Fibonacci series, which he summarizes as follows, "This is all very well for a painter or illustrator, but how can photography make sensible use of it? Certainly, no one is going to use a calculator to plan the division of a photograph. Intuitive composition is the only practical approach for the majority of photographs. The most useful approach to dividing a frame into areas is to prime your eye by becoming familiar with the nuances of harmony in different proportions. If you know them well, intuitive composition will naturally become more finely tuned. As photographers, we may be able to ignore the geometry, but we cannot ignore the fact that these proportions are fundamentally satisfying."

    I have noted that in Freeman's 192-page book on photographic composition, he only briefly mentions the "rule of thirds." There are many more compositional schemes available and sticking to one tends to be limiting. I think the rule of thirds was devised to help photographers who tend to center the subject in every photo. I think most of us in this forum are beyond relying on centering and the rule of thirds exclusively and probably through practice and observation of successful photographs tend to use a modified approach.

    I agree with Richard in not liking Laws (or rules) in photography. They should really be treated as guidelines.
    Thanks for posting this quote John. I too have been working more on 'mass and proportions' lately and finding it suits my evolving style quiet well. I am always interested to read other comments in this regard.

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    Ross's Avatar
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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    Oh, I am puzzeled. Most of you have rejected the all laws when I'm just 22 years old. Maybe everything is needless? What learn now?

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    I don't think it is needles to learn those "rules" (although I rather call them guidelines). It make things easier when you are learning and will improve your photo's. BUT you should not restrict yourself to only use the guidelines, but allow yourself to try somthing different sometimes.
    And instead of using Fibonacci's grid, go for the rule of thirds, which is easier to find in your view finder.
    I think that when you have the rule of thirds, it will be a small step to put your subjects more to the center to get that Golden ratio...

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    Quote Originally Posted by ross View Post
    Oh, I am puzzeled. Most of you have rejected the all laws when I'm just 22 years old. Maybe everything is needless? What learn now?
    It has been written on here before and in many textbooks, by those more eloquent than I, that the purpose of learning these 'rules' is so that you work at a conscious level both when you apply and them and when you break them. John quotes Freeman (my guru) at length. As he (Freeman) suggests, it is appropriate to understand these concepts because they are 'fundamentally satisfying'. However, that does not mean that, in many circumstances, an alternative application is equally satisfying. The key point is that the photographer/artist should place things in the frame as a result of conscious thought, not as the result of an accident.

    The November issue of 'Black & White Photography' magazine had an article by Tony Worobiec in which he illustrates the power that can be achieved by placing the subject in the centre.
    Last edited by Donald; 6th December 2010 at 08:31 AM.

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    very cool pic. I don't know anything about photography (that's why I joined today) but I would like to point out that your picture is very interestingly close to the rule. From the dense part of the sunset gradient down to the bottom of the picture is a eyeball 1/3 vertically imo. But I don't know anything really.

    Maybe you're subconsciously trained or maybe that doesn't count.

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    That is a very good point, Xavier. The rule of thirds works both horizontally and vertically. they are not mutually inclusive, nor are they mutually exclusive.

    One thing we can do as photographers which is difficult for painters is have our photographs relate to real life. What we see with our eyes is not often bound by the rule of thirds, Fibonacci's grid or Uncle George's opinion of how we should tilt our head to view his new car. The photograph has a certain totality which is not common to painting. People expect to see it as it was when they last saw it.

    That said, there are subjects which lend themselves to centering and those which need the offset to "tell the story" so to speak. I teach the "rule" of thirds and some other "rules" while telling the students that they need to know when to ignore them.

    Remember, photography is a technical skill. Making the picture is art.

    Pops

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    I agree with many of you that these are guidlines not rules. And Ross, these things are ALWAYS good to learn. Espescially when your young. You practice with them and then they become second nature, instinctual. But like many rules are meant to be broken. Thing is you can't break em till you know em. LOL
    There is a time and a place for certain composition. If you want bulls eye impact then your gonna center your image, if you want a grounded landscape you'll have much less sky and a high horizon (and vise versa), if your looking for balance youll compose symetrically, and so on, and so on. Pops I like what you said there, . . . Remember, photography is a technical skill. Making the picture is art. Composition is the beginning of story telling the beginning of the visual conversation. You have a subject so now how will you portray it. How you arrange your composition will evoke different emotion. Of course this all gets more complicated the more layers of technique and thought you put into it. (as you all know ) But yeah, Fibonacci and the golden mean are GREAT places to start.

    Pops, what do you mean when you say painters have a difficult time having the images relate to real life? I'm not being snippy, I really don't understand how you mean that. Curious

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    Pops, what do you mean when you say painters have a difficult time having the images relate to real life? I'm not being snippy, I really don't understand how you mean that. Curious
    The very medium with which they work is percieved by the brain as being "man-made" rather than the perception of a photograph being of something as it actually was. People automatically think paintings are mere representations of what the painter saw, interpreted through the artist's concepts, sense of art, desire of display, whatever. People automatically think of photographs as being a snap of time, showing what was actually there.

    Perception is reality?

    Pops

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    Ross's Avatar
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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    Everyone, thanks a lot

    Ross

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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    The very medium with which they work is percieved by the brain as being "man-made" rather than the perception of a photograph being of something as it actually was. People automatically think paintings are mere representations of what the painter saw, interpreted through the artist's concepts, sense of art, desire of display, whatever. People automatically think of photographs as being a snap of time, showing what was actually there.
    Ok Thank youy Pops. I see what you are saying now. And yes For the most part I agree. (90% of the time probably) I think a truly great artist, whatever their medium, will try to and can convince the viewer that what they are seeing is "real". Not just as a photorealistic painter for example, but even in the other styles. Its the job of any artist to draw the viewer in and convince them that their view is reality.
    Perception is reality?

    Pops
    Ok Thank you, Pops. I see what you are saying now.
    There is a great painting in the San Fransisco Museum of Fine Art that I really love. It genuinly is the most photorealistic painting I've ever seen. You literally have to be on top of it before you see the paint and canvas. It's Awesome
    It's not my favorite style. Personally, I like paint to look like paint, clay to look like clay, bronze bronze, photos like photos. But I love to see when it crosses over successfully. It's always exciting to see great skill in any medium.
    Sorry, I digress and ramble.

  20. #20
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    Re: Fibonacci's grid

    Personally, I like paint to look like paint, clay to look like clay, bronze bronze, photos like photos.
    I agree, wholeheartedly. A painter, with today's acrilics, can produce work which looks photographic. However, I think that takes away from the medium the very thing that makes paintings so pleasurable. Of, course, I am guilty of the same thing when I make powder horns. They sure don't look like they part of the cow, when I finish with them.

    Pops

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