The relationship between math and photography, the magic of light. / By Elda E. Dilo

The relationship between math and photography, the magic of light.




By:  Elda E. Dilo



The relationship between math and photography


In this article mathematics meets photography. Mathematics for me is calculaton,aplicaton and inspiration.Mathematics has itself been described as an art motivated by beauty. If you are interested in photography,you need to understand some math consepts ,because there is a Mathematical secret behind your camera’s aperture .

Let’s discover it

Like great Works of Art, the elements in a Photograph need to be arranged in a manner which is interesting and pleasing to the eye.

In addition, Photography is a two dimensional medium. Therefore we need to make use of the elements which are present in the photo to create a sense of depth and three dimensions.

Photos also need a main focal point, as well as leading our eyes on a journey through the picture.

Having these things makes for great photos, which are pleasing to the eye, and we call this “Composition”.

There are a Number of Composition Rules involving Percentage, Geometry, Symmetry, a Grid of Thirds, and even the “Golden Ratio” and its spiral.










There are three kindes of people :Those who see.Those who see when they are shown.Those who don’t see painting was the visual transformation of not only surface appearances but also deeper much more powerful essences ,which Leonardo defined as :” The beauty of nature’s creations and the harmony of the world”

You may not have noticed the golden rectangle but you would have surely felt its influence. Sacred Geometry is subliminal to all but the minds eye .Its subliminal message is one of Harmony ,Balance and Beauty

Ilustrations in Sacred Geometry are called contractions

Sacred Geometry is like nature:Everything is connected to something other

“The artist sees what others ony catch a glimpse of “

In classical art the eyes,the windows of the soul,were the main focal point of artist work.

The golden section rectangle frames Mona Lisa’s eyes.But it is not only the only golden rectangle that Leonardo used.He layered the Mona Lisa with several differing scales and magnitudes of geometric harmonies

If key elements in a Photo fall onto the Golden Spiral containing rectangles and squares with side lengths in the “Golden Ratio”, then this should theoretically form the most pleasing picture possible.

Camera ISO is one of the three key Variables of Photography, the other two being Aperture and Shutter Speed.

Every photographer needs to understand ISO in order to get bright and clear pictures from their equipment.

ISO values increase in a “Geometric Progression” or a “Geometric Sequence” (Factor of Two, which results in Doubling).

This ISO sequence is: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 and etc. For every step up in this scale, the brightness of your picture doubles

The standard f-numbers are: 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22 .

We can always form the next number in the pattern by multiplying by 1.4, which is the square root of 2 as a rounded off decimal value.

1.4 x 1.4 = 1.96 = 2

2 x 1.4 = 2.8

2.8 x 1.4 = 3.92 = 4

4 x 1.4 = 5.6

5.6 x 1.4 = 7.84 = 8

and so on.

In the f-numbers we have a sequence of numbers, where we always

multiply by a common value of 1.4 to generate the next number.

In mathematics this is called a “Geometric Sequence” or a “Geometric Progression”

The common multiplying value, in this case 1.4, is called the “Geometric Ratio”.

The 1.4 (Square Root of 2) value results because we are dealing with Circles when we are doing Apertures.

Finally, remember cameras are just tools. The true joy of photography is finding the light of God in the beauty of nature and the people around us.



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