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The Golden Ratio Spiral


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#1 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 04:07 AM

This thing

eDvL7.png

 

Wondering if any of you mindfully consider this spiral when framing. Also wondering if someone can inherently just have the eye for good ratio and coincidentally run one of these across their shots and have it match up.

 

I've seen various articles where people take this and run it over some modern films, but a good portion of them honestly feel like they're reaching.

 

What do you think?


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#2 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 04:37 AM

No rules I guess.. its just a ratio thats been used since the ancient Egyptians .. and also seems to occur in nature quite a bit.. that we humans find aesthetically pleasing..  interviews.. close ups .. its sort of become cinema gramma ..  but Ive noticed recently doc,s like Wild Wild West.. have been bucking the trend and going for wide centre framed interviews.. why not.. if it look good/interesting ..suits the mood of the film..


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#3 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 06:47 AM

I've never really considered any kind of ratios, or rule-of-thirds type concepts in my framing. I have a really clear and simple goal in framing up my images, and that's to do everything in my power to imbue these two-dimensional images that we make, with three-dimensional qualities. That mostly amounts to creating a sense of depth, through lighting, contrast, leading lines, atmosphere and control of depth of field.


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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 09:19 PM

It's a fascinating ratio, not just for describing spirals. You can split a line into the Golden Section, or make a Golden Rectangle. The classic 1.66 aspect ratio is close to a Golden Rectangle (1:1.62). It occurs in nature because it's related to growth, maintaining the same proportions while expanding. The Fibonacci series, in which each number is the addition of the previous two, generates the ratio between successive numbers, becoming closer as the series progresses - ie  3/5, 5/8, 8/13, 13/21..  I suspect we find it pleasing because we intuitively recognize the growth pattern within it.

 

Artists and architects have deliberately used it for centuries, but you naturally arrive at it by splitting something into two parts where the small part has the same proportion to the large part as the large part has to the whole. Dividing something in half creates a static or formal sense of space, in thirds it becomes more dynamic but still evenly distributed. The Golden Section splits something in such a way that it is neither static nor even, but retains a hidden proportionality.  It's pretty clear most artists use these ways of dividing space intuitively, but it's interesting to analyse them mathematically.


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#5 aapo lettinen

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 09:26 AM

the golden ratio rules work best for still photography, paintings, architecture where the images are self-contained and not in relation with the adjacent scenes and shots. 

it is the "safe" option but not necessarily the best working one for narrative depending on what you want to shoot and how it will be edited.  

 

for talking head interviews it is working well for that exact reason: the image is self-contained and thus needs to work alone without the help of other shots from the same scene


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#6 Rakesh Malik

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 04:15 PM

My first actual education in photography was from a nature photographer who made his living sell his work as fine art. He taught us to use elements like lines, shapes, and rhythm and so on to influence the way that a viewer would navigate the image. As a result, I don't use the rule of thirds or golden ratios in my compositions, even though I also don't go out of my way to avoid either. If the work, they work. But I've found that they more often than not lead to generic rather than compelling imagery.


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#7 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:17 PM

It's weird because there's certain blocking that's just plain bland and then other blocking which creates a feeling of crispness, regardless of 3rds. Is this my brain naturally desiring "golden ratio"??


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 06 August 2018 - 05:17 PM.

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#8 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 06:46 PM

I wrote an essay on the golden mean and the Fibonacci sequence at uni. I've still got it somewhere. I think a lot of artists do use it without thinking, and a few are methodical about - for instance the composer Bartok used it in proportion of the number of bars within sections. A cinematographer can sort of create dramatic tension by pushing the limits of it.

 

Freddie Young for instance in Lawrence of Arabia (yes I do mention him a lot - he's my favourite) frames a shot of a Bedouin on a camel in the far right of frame. All else is bare sand and light. The camel is too far to the right for the golden mean, but I think it was framed like that as it emphasizes the rider watching intently, looking to left of screen, as he is waiting for his friend Lawrence to appear. That tension with usual proportion can create dramatic effect.


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