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09-08-2022, 03:18 PM - 2 Likes   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
… I composed the shot through the viewfinder with no thought about the gold ratio at all, and it was only at the very last step of processing -- choosing the final crop -- that I finally realised that it would help. I think I'd actually tried four or five different crops before I thought to try the golden ratio overlay, and it was only then that my own composition that I'd done purely by gut feeling made sense to me.
That mirrors my own thoughts on composition tools and rules: I take photos with some rough idea of why they appeal to me and only at the processing stage do the tools and rules help explain why they appealed in the first place. I certainly don’t think of which applies before making an image.

09-09-2022, 09:38 AM - 1 Like   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
That mirrors my own thoughts on composition tools and rules: I take photos with some rough idea of why they appeal to me and only at the processing stage do the tools and rules help explain why they appealed in the first place. I certainly don’t think of which applies before making an image.
Maybe that means you've internalized it.
09-09-2022, 12:31 PM - 1 Like   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
I feel like this is like noticing a number and then seeing it all the time.
Not limited to numbers, a phenomenon known as the "Baader-Meinhof phenomenon" or "frequency illusion". For more psychology fun (or just a few hours in a wiki rabbithole), see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
09-10-2022, 02:40 PM - 1 Like   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
pedantic sods such as myself
Really? I can't say that I've noticed that about yourself.

Well at least not before perhaps this thread.

09-12-2022, 05:51 PM - 2 Likes   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Des, I did some more digging re the Mona Lisa and it seems near every discussion on the Golden Ratio mentions the Mona Lisa. Interestingly, the more historic discussions seem to centre on the representation of various sized Golden Ratio rectangles, on the face of the subject. More modern discussions seem to attempt to overlay a spiral.

From this, I propose that the obsession with the spiral, also on photos, must be a more modern thing. Historical discussions never mentions the spiral and, instead, deals more with the proportion of the overall painting, or elements in the painting.

I include some different Mona Lisa overlays for context. All show spirals of some description or other but most of the reproductions crop the actual painting or, worse, crop and crunch the aspect ratio, so none of it makes sense at all.

The one on the left is the most accurate of the lot, following the actual Monal Lisa size proportions but, as can be seen with that, it's all conjecture and none of it aligns with the thinking of any historical documentation related to earlier writings about the supposed links to the Ratio.

All very odd.
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09-12-2022, 06:10 PM - 1 Like   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Des, , I propose that the obsession with the spiral, also on photos, must be a more modern thing..
I applaud your finding this.

How is this more than an obsession? I can take a photo of a pin head and superimpose this on it. How does this make the composition? A swirl in nothingness background and at the center is a nose or an eye or a whatever. I dare someone to put put a parabola or ellipse or hexagon over this and not find some identity.
09-12-2022, 10:08 PM - 2 Likes   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
The one on the left is the most accurate of the lot, following the actual Monal Lisa size proportions but, as can be seen with that, it's all conjecture and none of it aligns with the thinking of any historical documentation related to earlier writings about the supposed links to the Ratio.

All very odd.
Not odd at all - I just feel the Mona Lisa is a nonsensical example of GR. Taking the left image as un-cropped, the very fact that her face is central in the image is a clue no regard was given to the golden spiral. The only guideline I can see in the image is her lips are at the 3rds line.
And every time the gr is applied it is to a subset of the image which to me is nonsensical. Scale the GR at your whim and you can make any image conform to it.

09-12-2022, 11:16 PM - 2 Likes   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
Not odd at all - I just feel the Mona Lisa is a nonsensical example of GR. Taking the left image as un-cropped, the very fact that her face is central in the image is a clue no regard was given to the golden spiral. The only guideline I can see in the image is her lips are at the 3rds line.
And every time the gr is applied it is to a subset of the image which to me is nonsensical. Scale the GR at your whim and you can make any image conform to it.
What is not in doubt is Leonardo has used the classic technique of placing the Mona Lisa’s dominant eye (her left, nearest the viewer) on the vertical centre line in the painting. You see this repeatedly in classic portraits, it makes the subject hold your attention. That’s much more obvious than trying to squash fit a GR spiral to it.
09-13-2022, 02:21 PM - 3 Likes   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Des, I did some more digging re the Mona Lisa and it seems near every discussion on the Golden Ratio mentions the Mona Lisa. Interestingly, the more historic discussions seem to centre on the representation of various sized Golden Ratio rectangles, on the face of the subject. More modern discussions seem to attempt to overlay a spiral.From this, I propose that the obsession with the spiral, also on photos, must be a more modern thing. Historical discussions never mentions the spiral and, instead, deals more with the proportion of the overall painting, or elements in the painting.I include some different Mona Lisa overlays for context. All show spirals of some description or other but most of the reproductions crop the actual painting or, worse, crop and crunch the aspect ratio, so none of it makes sense at all.The one on the left is the most accurate of the lot, following the actual Monal Lisa size proportions but, as can be seen with that, it's all conjecture and none of it aligns with the thinking of any historical documentation related to earlier writings about the supposed links to the Ratio.All very odd.
Thanks very much Mark. Very interesting and informative.

There seems to be a push-back against retrospective analysis of art, architecture and nature based on the GR, or what this author calls "spurious correlations": https://plus.maths.org/content/myths-maths-golden-ratio
QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
What is not in doubt is Leonardo has used the classic technique of placing the Mona Lisa’s dominant eye (her left, nearest the viewer) on the vertical centre line in the painting. You see this repeatedly in classic portraits,
Yes. The other aesthetically pleasing element is the position and alignment of her hands, at a similar distance from the edge to her face and creating a roughly horizontal line balancing the roughly vertical line of her face (as well as a triangle and perhaps other geometric forms). I'm not sure that the GR spiral captures what is pleasing about that. The spiral in the image on the left starts at her right thumb which doesn't seem like a focal point at all. Which is presumably why the second and third images distort the painting to try to make the spiral fit.

Last edited by Des; 09-13-2022 at 02:33 PM.
09-13-2022, 03:34 PM - 1 Like   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Thanks very much Mark. Very interesting and informative.

There seems to be a push-back against retrospective analysis of art, architecture and nature based on the GR, or what this author calls "spurious correlations": https://plus.maths.org/content/myths-maths-golden-ratio
Thank you very much for that link Des. Professor Chris Budd OBE says it so elegantly and simply, but everything he says stacks up with my convoluted thinking and study over some years.
09-13-2022, 11:21 PM - 1 Like   #56
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An instance of golden ratio in architecture is one of the mosque complexes in Isfahan, Iran. Jason Elliot recounts investigating an accurate survey plan of these historic Persian buildings and discovering the golden ratio characterised many of its proportions - although he doesn’t mention the whirligig spiral anywhere. You’ll find the discussion in Mirrors of the Unseen, one of my all-time favourite travel books. Other scholars have written about the Islamic fascination with maths and geometry, so he only discovered for himself what is already well known.
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