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The Art of Black and White Photography, 2nd Edition by Torsten Andreas Hoffmann

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17 The Golden Ratio and Elementary Construction

Good pictorial design means distributing pictorial elements in such a way that the eye perceives harmony and tension simultaneously. In other words, it is the placement of these elements that makes the composition interesting.

Mathematically speaking, the golden ratio is the division of a line into two differently sized parts. The smaller part relates to the larger part in the same way as the larger part relates to the entire line: a de facto ratio of 1:1.618. The golden ratio is relevant when dividing areas within a photo. The lines that divide an image in the golden ratio (i. e., in an approximate ratio of 5:8) are also known as harmonic dividing lines. Our eye perceives such a division as especially ...

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