Golden Ratio: Dogwood Week 6

The Golden Ratio Photo Inspiration

Amidst the watercolor-like landscape sits a girl and her truck, lost in a magical fantasy-land, the only connection to reality, the dark road trying to tug them back.
The road isn’t going to win.

In order to achieve this corny vision, I had to take a philosophical journey.

This Week’s Heavily Photoshopped Golden Ratio Photo

I’ve never been a photoshop fan. In my eyes, REAL photographers don’t have to fake a good image, they simply take one. As a photojournalist, an integrity had been fully ingrained so I had fundamental issues with adding or subtracting from reality.

But then I started graphic arts school.

In my first art photography class at the University of Arizona, my instructor advised I let go of the journalistic eye in order to move toward an artistic eye. Part of that process meant embracing Photoshop. While I’m not entirely there, I will use it as a tool as long as the image is clearly fantastical and not a replication of reality.

Well… aren’t I getting all philosophical. Anyway, let’s dive into this week’s subject.

Why I love Fibonacci…

When Brian (my hubby) and I first met, he was in architecture school at SCI-Arc in LA and told me about the Fibonacci sequence. It totally went over my math-compromised brain, and after that, became my secret tool when I couldn’t fall asleep. I’d ask him to explain the Fibonacci. The droning sequence never failed to knock me right out. (Sorry, Brian. And yes, I did eventually get it.)

In a nutshell, Fibonacci is a proportion ratio, where each number in the sequence is the sum of the two numbers before. (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34). It’s found everywhere, from the smallest of nature to the biggest. Picture a nautilus shell.

So how does it apply to photography? The Fibonacci sequence is found in the golden ratio, a compositional tool where you lead the viewer’s eyes to the subject via this ratio, putting the primary focus at the smallest point. Here, take a look:

Golden Ratio Photo using fibonacci

Making the Golden Ratio Photo

I wanted to use Bondorella for this image. The snow finally melted off of her and we had a warm day, so we took a nice long drive to the Little Painted Desert. Sadly, the colors were incredibly flat. Here is the raw image.

Raw base photo for Golden Ratio Photo

Not exactly inspiring. The day before, the sky was AMAZING. See this unedited iPhone snap en route from Flagstaff to Winslow.

Raw base photo for clouds for Golden Ratio Photo

Editing the Golden Ratio Photo

Since I didn’t like the intended image–and loved the clouds from the prior day–I thought this would be a good photoshop opportunity, so combined the two images. To achieve the more “art” aspect, I painted the ground around us and tweaked the colors to a slightly unnatural state.

So did I hit the Golden Ratio? Sure, if my, uh, belt buckle was the primary focus. Let’s just say it was.

Golden Ratio Photo

By the way, my photoshop work here is far from perfect, but schoolwork takes priority, so I set a time limit on fiddling around with non-school projects, like this Dogwood challenge. Speaking of which…

Next Week’s Prompt


Until next week…

Later gators!


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