Fibonacci number (?) or sequence (?) in photography. Please explain simply.

Started Jun 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
Vlad S
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In reply to Len_Gee, Jun 9, 2012

Len_Gee wrote:

Reaseon is because something called the Fibonacci number (?) or sequence (?) always exist in good photographs. I think the pro was referring to the Golden Means or Rule of Thirds (?). I think it is some kind of Algebra or Gemomery. I don't know which.

So, I don't know if mathematics can be sepereated from making good pictures.

Actually, the tests show that there is no preference for the framing that corresponds to specifically Golden ratio. If you look up the measurements for Parthenon, it is also not built around Golden ratio. The actual measurements are all inexact, because the accuracy was not that great (the outstanding precision of the ancient builders is very much a myth), but overall the measurements seem to correspond to the ratio 4/3. My own guess is that the builders used the Pythagorean triangle to create 90 degrees angles: you take a length of rope, tie several knots at equal distances, and make a triangle with sides that are 3, 4, and 5 lengths. This will give a half of a rectangle, with sides 3 and 4.

There is a lot of math in nature, but all of it is inexact. For example, the shells would grow their spiral according to the logarithmic law if the speed of growth was constant, but it is influenced by seasons (temperature) and nutrients, and so there are deviations. An exploding supernova would be described by mathematical functions called spherical harmonics if it was perfectly uniform in an empty space, but neither is true in real life.

There is a well known joke among physicists about creating a model for a cow or a horse - it's a perfect sphere, its jumps are perfect parabolas, and its neighing is a single harmonic. I think the model that your photographer friend created to describe all photography is very much like that: it assumes that everything is ideal, without flaws, but in reality every case is unique.

Vlad

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