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golden mean


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A supposedly ideal visual proportion in composition and design in painting, architecture, sculpture, and photography. It is based on the ratio between two unequal parts of a whole where the proportion of the smaller part to the larger one is equal to that of the larger part to the whole. For instance, a straight line or a rectangle can be divided in this way: hence its use in pictorial composition. It is mathematically expressed as phi: 1 plus the square root of 5, divided by 2 (roughly equivalent to 1.618:1). The concept can also be applied to the aspect ratio of the frame.

Subjects: Media Studies.


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