We have already mentioned how the Golden Spiral is created, let’s just recap it here again:

At first, we have the Golden Ratio:

Golden ratio compositions - golden spiral

Let's apply it into squares:

Golden ratio compositions - golden spiral

If you keep applying the Golden Ratio formula and adding new shapes to the right side of each square, you will get this diagram: 

Notice the Fibonaci sequence 1,1,1,2,3,5,8 in this diagram: 

Now, if we draw an arch in each of these squares, we will get the overlay of the Golden Spiral:

Golden Spiral in food photography

Let’s see how you can apply the Golden Spiral in food photography images.

The most important point in this composition is the centre of the spiral. This is the best area where to position the most interesting element or your hero subject.

Sometimes the scene can become a big more complex or more messy as the image above. In this shot, I followed the Golden Spiral. My most important fruit in this shot are peaches. I chose the one peach that I found the most interesting in terms of the size, colours or texture and I positioned it in the centre of the spiral. Then, I followed the spiral to position the other peaches and fruits. You can also notice that all the fruits and the way how watermelon is cut for example, leads you towards the main peach.

Let’s see another examples where we can apply the Golden Spiral composition.

  • the centre of the spiral arrives to the main element – especially to lemons – the area of the greatest contrast
  • I placed other elements around the main plate – in a way that they follow the golden spiral
  • Some elements are moved to the front, others to the back – it helps to create more natural flow in the image

Composing your scene – recap

  • When you start styling your scene, start with placing the main hero around the centre of the spiral. The ideal situation is that your focus point (the area where you focus with the camera) is also in the centre – this is the point of the greatest interest in the entire scene.
  • Then, follow the spiral to place the other supporting elements in your scene. Remember that you don’t need to create the perfect spiral/round shape. In fact, the less perfect shape you create, the more natural the image will look like.
  • You also don’t need to place props and other elements over the entire spiral. Create difference distance between the subjects, and position them also more towards outside or inside the frame. It all will help to get that natural flow to the image.
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