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Photographic Composition by David Page, Richard D. Zakia

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APPENDIX 3

Golden Mean (Golden Section)

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Thomas L. McCartney

GOLDEN MEAN (GOLDEN SECTION)

The Golden Section refers to a rectangle of any size that has a length that is 1.62 (1.618) times that of its width. A practical application to the Golden Section is in making a decision on how to crop a photograph. The closer the cropped print is to the Golden Mean, the more pleasing the print size should be. In photography, for example, with a 3 × 5 inch print, the 5-inch side is 1.66 times longer than the 3-inch side. As a ratio, it is written 5:3. Rectangles with such a ratio are considered to be pleasing to the eye. Prints that are 4 × 5 inches, ...

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