52 Weeks Of Photo Challenges

A theme based photo blog

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11. Golden Mean

If you google The Golden Mean you will also find the Golden Ratio, the Golden Angle, Devine Proportion, and Sacred Geometry.  It can be found in photography, art, nature, the proportions of the human body, architecture. The list goes on and on.

You might wonder why we chose to include this as a theme to our 52-week challenge? Well, because it is supposed to also be the most pleasing shape to the human eye. In photography we use the Rule of Thirds, which is just a simplification of the equation used in the Golden Ratio. Studies show that the human eye doesn’t like to rest on the center of a photo. It is more natural for our eyes to rest off to one of the intersecting lines of thirds grid. If you aren’t familiar with the Golden Mean google it and read more about it. Read about how it applies to all the things I listed above. Then the next time you go to crop a photo see if applying this rule helps you to create a photo that will be more appealing to everyone. I bet after you become more familiar with it you will start to see it in the shape and composition of A LOT of different things!

Below, I demonstrated the rules and ratios with a photo of a Gerber Daisy that I recently photographed against a back drop of black velvet.

golden mean

Rule of Thirds

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 100mm f 2.8 Macro Lens 1/16 sec; f/4.5; ISO 400 shot of a tripod

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 100mm f 2.8 Macro Lens
1/16 sec; f/4.5; ISO 400
shot of a tripod





2. Outside The Box


2. Outside The Box

I found this wonderful story online at, http://www.beyondreligion.com, while googling the Nautilus Shell. I think it is so beautiful. It made my shell photo even more special to me and also fit my theme, “Outside The Box,” perfectly.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, a century and a half ago, saw the metaphorical significance of the chambered home of the Nautilus. These fascinating seashells are spiral in shape and consist of a series of ever-larger chambers in each of which the sea creature lives for a season until it outgrows that particular space. The Nautilus then enlarges its shell by the addition of a new chamber suitable for the next stage of its life.

Holmes wrote, in a poem entitled The Chambered Nautilus, “Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul….Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!”

What a perfect image for spiritual evolution! In order to begin a new stage in our growth, we have to think “outside the box.” Yet, every time we abandon an old worldview for a new and wider vision, we merely find ourselves in a larger box. And while each box serves its particular function for a time, we are always in danger of claiming that the chamber we currently occupy is the ultimate one.

The spiral shape of the Nautilus shell suggests that it can keep growing forever. There is no design for a “final” chamber. The creature must keep building new chambers as long as it lives. It cannot go back to the previous ones; they no longer fit. It cannot stay in its present space or it will die. It has no choice but to move on. And on.

Perhaps one day we might be able to create for ourselves a box so large that it would encompass all of God. But that space would then include everything, even those realities which we now purposely exclude by limiting the size of today’s chamber.