Hack: The Fibonacci Spiral

The famous Rule of Thirds, where the photographer draws an imaginary tic tac toe grid over her photograph and aligns images with that grid, has an interesting alternative. It’s called the Fibonacci Spiral and it’s equally appealing to the eye.

Now if there’s any math geeks in the audience (it’s a guilty pleasure), the spiral is based on a natural logarithmic formula (shown below).

Fibonacci Spiral Formula

Essentially this means that the spiral is roughly equivalent to a series of ninety degree turns. To a shooter, this amounts to placing your subject(s) along the curve of the spiral to draw the viewer’s eye. And this method has gained such popularity that some cameras are even starting to include a Fibonacci overlay in their viewfinders!

NautilusCutawayLogarithmicSpiralThe Fibonacci Spiral appears in nature in places like nautilus shells and spiral galaxies, and it occasionally shows up in manmade structures. A good example is the photo at the top of this post: a lighthouse staircase I photographed recently. With a little observation and creativity, I know you’ll be able to use this classic shape to your advantage as well. :)

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Written by The Twilit Lens

Freelance photographer and ponderer of the unusual. I welcome the presence of mystery and the unknown. Wonder is not absent from the universe, and there is still room for the child in those who haven't yet allowed their hearts to wither to dust.


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