4 Composition Tips


The Golden Ratio

The ratio of 1:1.618 is a quadratic solution. It has many names, some of which you will see in the following images such as the Fibonacci Ratio and the Golden Mean. As most artists know this design aesthetic is most commonly found in plants, planet orbits, bone structures and often used in Renaissance Art.

In this particular set I am using it to draw attention from the left side of the image to the bottom right taking the eye on a journey around the window. It can seem a bit daunting at first compared to using a typical rule-of-thirds grid but its always fun to experiment when the opportunity arises.


The Golden Triangle

There is no hard and fast rule with this one other than understanding that the two points which are highlighted in the center are where the eyes go first. It can often be used for balancing outdoor elements such as bridges or mountains to create an interesting effect or draw your eye to a specific location first. In this case the edge of the tapware and edge of the basin and window.

It can also be incorporated with other compositional elements when given the chance such as the Phi Grid (more on this in the next post). You can see good use of this method in the works by Frans Snyders.


The Phi Grid

Not to be confused with the rule-of-thirds, the two center lines are usually closer together representing the ratio of 1:1.618 when one of those lines are removed. You can see this more clearly in the image labelled Divine Ratio where the most important information is in the lower portion. Remember you can do this vertically as well, it’s a versatile tool. Davinci’s famous “The Last Supper” shows how this can be used effectively. He also influenced many great artists with his mathematical and artistic skills.

In the Phi (center) image I have used those centerlines to denote the feature element of the image in this case the tapware for the bathtub. Using the center is used in portrait photography.


The Center Cross

The Center Cross can be powerful when used in architecture, especially when you have mirrored elements such as the towels, basins and mirrors in this case. This is prevalent in the Mirror Vertical image. In the Split Horizontal image, having the wall element separated in the center we can highlight the lower half of the image with more detail and keeping the top half simplified.