Fibonacci Spiral

Perfect Proportion

In Blog, Design, Photography by Martin Sekel

Is beauty and balance all relative to the perception of the one viewing the item, whether it be a photo, design, composition, building, an element of nature or anything else, and is beauty really in the eye of the beholder?

Perfect proportion and balance is a hot topic in the design and photography world. Some say that certain rules must be adhered to in order to produce pleasing to the eye designs and images. What is that? Where did these preconceptions and ideas come from? Why do some images or compositions seem more creatively pleasing or harmonious than others?

There is a mathematical ratio or relationship between elements commonly found in nature known as the Golden Ratio. Also referred to as the Golden Section, the Golden Rectangle or the Golden Mean, this mathematical sequence in geometric terms, when plotted creates what is know as the Golden Spiral.

The Golden Ratio, sometimes represented by the Greek Letter Phi is 1:1.61 and is the relationship between two numbers on the Fibonacci Sequence.

Fibonacci SquaresA Fibonacci spiral approximates the golden spiral and ratio using quarter-circle arcs inscribed in squares of integer Fibonacci-number side, shown for square sizes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and 34. It is widely accepted that designs and images based on the spiral and relationships provide natural looking and harmoniously proportioned compositions.

In his 1202 book Liber Abaci Leonardo Fibonacci introduced the sequence to Western European mathematics although there are references to this relationship in Indian Mathematics and possibly even in ancient Egypt.

Fibonacci SpiralWhen we plot the relationships in scale we produce a spiral that can be used in the composition of our photographic images, print designs, web design and even in the design of architecture and furniture. The spiral mimics proportions found everywhere in nature. See the inspiring video below based on this idea.



Do you use the Fibonacci principle or the Golden Spiral when designing? Do you compose your photographs based on these proportions? Have you looked at your best designs and photos to see if you can see the spiral in retrospect? Do you even care about all this theory? Do people simply either like or dislike something for other reasons entirely?