Let’s have a look at the first composition: The Golden Ratio (or the Golden Mean).

This composition is very similar to the Rule of Thirds, but the lines are not dividing the frame into exact 3 parts.

Let’s see it a bit better: based on the calculations above, the golden ratio composition looks like this:

Golden Ratio Composition in Food Photography

The Golden Ratio creates 4 Golden Points – which are the intersections of the lines.

These are the best points to position the main subjects (elements of interest):

Let’s see the first example

In this flat lay I positioned the main bowl on the lower horizontal line, where the two intersections are touching the main elements.

Then, I placed other supporting bowls, bottle and spoons following the vertical and horizontal lines. The other two intersections are empty, which helps to move the attention to the main subject.

Second example

In this example we can have a look at how to apply the Golden Ratio to a different camera angle as well.

At first, I positioned the main subject on the bottom horizontal line, more towards the right side of the frame. I used one intersection point to frame my bowl, and the second point is on the area where I focused.

Then, in the second image, you can see how I positioned the other supporting elements following the other lines. Again, not everything is perfectly in place, as it’s important to keep the styling more natural, so the image doesn’t look too staged.

Composing your scene – recap

  • when you start styling your scene, start with placing the main hero on the intersections of the lines. You don’t need to occupy all 4 points. It’s enough if you place your main hero at one of the intersections.
  • Then, follow the other intersections or the lines for placing other elements.
  • Don’t be very strict when placing elements across the frame. It’s not necessary that all objects touches the lines of the composition. The more irregular position you will create, the more natural the image will be.
  • Follow your gut (listen to your feelings and intuition) when composing your scene, and constantly ask yourself: does this scene look natural or it’s too stage?
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