You’ve mastered the Rule of Thirds (if you haven’t, learn it now) and are ready to move on with composition and framing. You have heard of the golden ratio and are interested in giving it a shot. You are a very ambitious person.

After all, the rule of thirds seems pretty intuitive and straightforward. The rule of thirds is a simple one that states the main elements in your photograph should be placed about one-third into the frame. It visually divides the image into three equal sections, making it more pleasing to look at. One, two, and three are all you need.

The math becomes a bit more complex when it comes to the Golden Ratio, also known as the Divine Proportion or Golden Mean. We’ll describe the golden ratio, show you how to use it and look at golden ratio examples.

## What Is The Golden Ratio In Photography?

The golden ratio can be expressed as 1 to 1.618 or 1:1.618. We need to go back in history to understand where this oddly specific number came from.

### Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio

Fibonacci, a 13th-century Italian mathematician who was a great thinker and a master of mathematics, is the source of the golden ratio. He started with 0 & 1 to get the sequence. Then he added 0+1 for 1. He added 1+1 and got 2, 1+2 for 3, 2+3 for 5, 3+5 for 8, etc., by always adding the two previous sums.

Fibonacci continues in this way for all eternity. What does this number have to do above?

When you divide two Fibonacci numbers that are higher than 2 by each other, you get 1.618. As an example, 89 divided 55 equals 1.618. Also, if you divide the sum of two numbers (89 + 54 = 144) by 89, it equals 1.618. Sometimes math can be really cool, right?

The golden ratio can be (arguably) pleasing to the eye when visualized geometrically. Although its use in design and art is often exaggerated there are notable examples of artists who have used the golden ratio to create compositions. In Sacrament Of The Last Supper, one of Salvador Dali’s most famous artworks, he used the golden proportion. We will explain how to use the golden ratio when taking photographs.

## Golden Ratio

The golden ratio can be used in different ways. Two standard composition techniques are the golden spiral and golden ratio grid.

### The golden ratio grid

The golden grid or phi grid divides your frame into 1:1.618 rows. The phi grid divides the frame into three sections that are equal, while the rule of thirds creates three sections that are irregular but orderly. As with the rule-of-thirds, placing objects at the intersections between the lines creates an effective shot.

### The golden spiral

The golden spiral is an exponential spiral with a factor of growth equal to the golden ratio.

The golden spiral method is best used by visualizing your frame in the form of the golden rectangle. The golden rectangle is a grid that uses straight lines using the 1:1.618 ratio to divide the rectangle into different-sized squares.

The golden spiral, or Fibonacci Spiral, curves upward from the corner to the opposite of the largest rectangle. It then continues curving inwards into each smaller rectangle. It forms a spiral that is similar to the logarithmic spiral you see on a shell.

The golden spiral is a great way to frame your focal point or objects in your photo.

## Conclusion

The golden ratio is less intuitive to use in photography than the rule. If you are not afraid to take on a new challenge, apply the golden ratio composition technique in your next photo shoot. You might be surprised to learn that a simple math equation can help create more visually appealing imagery.