Ansel Adams is one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, and photographer Elliot McGucken may have discovered a reason why. While viewing some of Adams’ public domain work, McGucken realized the presence of the golden ratio in the compositions. This aesthetically pleasing principle, used by architects such as Le Corbusier and present in nature, works to help create harmony that is visually appealing.
“Great artists such as Ansel Adams exalted their art with the golden ratio—the very same ratio present in the bones of our fingers and facial features,” McGucken explains. “Whether Ansel used the golden harmonies consciously or unconsciously may remain a mystery forever.”
By breaking his landscapes and portraits into golden proportions, unconsciously or not, Adams creates balance in his photography. It’s something that certainly draws the viewer into his work, aiding in its classic beauty. “With the power of conscious mathematics, the human can capture and exalt nature beyond natural state, as the master photographer Ansel Adams did by imposing his sense of the golden harmonies, by which he himself was created, upon nature.”