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Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Frame shapes and sizes

Theories of frame division

The next set of exercises are around the idea of frame shapes and sizes. The course text goes on to say that there are infinite numbers of ways to dividing a frame. In my camera the viewfinder frame has a ration of 3:2 as noted in the earlier project  of getting to know your camera.

One of the best known division of frame is known as the ‘Golden section’ or 'Golden ratio'

“The idea behind it is that the ratio inside the frame, from the small part, is the same as the ration between the large part and the whole”

There seems to be a lot of information on the internet about this ‘magical’ golden ratio including a mathematical equation for it. As well as that, there is indication that an approximate interpretation of the golden mean relates to the ‘rule of thirds’ where the frame is divided up into 9 equal parts using 4 equally spaced lines; 2 horizontal and 2 vertical (like a tic-tac-toe grid).

Looking this up in reference in books and the internet suggest that these ratio’s of division can balance the image composition, however care must be taken not to follow the guide strictly; it may not be appropriate for every composition.

I think the message here is that I need to explore these ideas more, by looking at other ‘works’ and seeing how frames are divided. Also while keeping these rules in mind, not to become a slave to them.

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