Phi Grid/ Central Dominant Eye Composition (14 replies and 5 comments)
Hi Roger, been studying in-depth the composition of singles lately. I have myself learned they usually work better when composed bearing in mind the phi grid/golden ratio. I am asking if you consciously are aware of the phi grid when composing your singles, or if it is just instinct. Below I attach a couple of frames from Blade Runner 2049, which use the central dominant eye composition.
We can see that you are composing the eyes for the top horizontal line of the phi grid/golden ratio. You have the corner of the eye placed at the center, and the eye of course derives from this point, rather than just being dead center. Was this subtle detail-conscious?
On the left (above): The small, dark doorway over to the far left, the dark roof above that, and the dark sky on the left.
On the right: The large bright sky, the bright cottages, and the bright ground
Now, I chose this painting for a reason. Look at the painting by Kurosawa (below) - notice any structural and thematic influences from Van Gogh? Kurosawa was a painter who was strongly influenced by Van Gogh - as you can see.
On the left (above): The small, dark haystacks
On the right: The large bright sky, and ground
Willem de Kooning:
Even good abstract painting uses the same structure, the ratios, the relationships formed between parts of the image, the piecing together of a puzzle where all the parts work together creating a harmonious symphony of shapes.
On the left (above): The 3 small, dark objects
On the right: The multiple large, bright objects
When you look at this painting more, you come to realize that de Kooning worked very hard to ensure ALL the parts of this painting work together based on the size and color intensity of shapes.
I hope I haven't bored you to death with this detail. However, understanding these concepts greatly improved the quality of my work and I hope it will for you, as well.
This is just an introduction to a way of seeing and composing. Like learning to play a musical instrument, it takes time to master this. But, it’s a wonderful journey.
If you have any questions or concerns, absolutely, please feel free to reach out.
A fantastic deep dive, Paul. Thanks for the analysis and education. It’s always interesting when rules are broken to serve the story, when choices are made to unbalance the image to make the audience feel something intentional.