Last article explored the relationship between the various Compositional Guides provided in the Crop tool in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom™. As the emails rolled in it became apparent that most have never taken the time to look at the actual differences in the sweet spot or Power Points of the various guides. For our exercise today, I decided to compress the crop to one of its two extremes: Square.

At a square crop what would be the relationship of the various Power Points to each other and how does that compare to the standard 3:2 Aspect Ratio we examined in the last article?

As before, here is a Rule of Thirds overlay used when cropping square.

Above is the compositional guide for the Golden Ratio.

This is what the Golden Spiral or Fibonacci Sequence looks like overlaid upon a square crop.

Finally, this is the Triangles Compositional guide. Note that when I compress the Aspect Ratio to 1:1, the diagonals and their perpendiculars overlap forming an X cutting diagonally at 45° angles from corner.

Overlay the four images and their respective Compositional Guides in Photoshop™ and you get an image like that shown below. I have added red dots to emphasis the Power Points.

The pattern looks similar to that which we unveiled in the previous article. the Power Points all fall along the diagonal as before the but their distribution is subtly different. For review:

Note that the outlier of the Landscape Aspect Ratio was the Golden Ratio. The Triangles, Golden Spiral, and Rule of Thirds cluster nicely. The most distant point from center is the Golden Spiral.

in the Square Crop, the outlier becomes the Triangles. Rule of Thirds, the Golden Ratio and Golden Spiral now form the cluster-albeit a looser cluster. The relationship between Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio seem to be the most consistent. The Golden Spiral remains the farthest from the center.

“So”, you ask, “What does this all mean”"?”

I don’t think we are there yet. The next installment will explore the more extreme panoramic crops and the relationship of these four crop guides. After that, I think we will be ready to draw our conclusions. Till then… give this some thought.

Rikk Flohr © 2014