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The Beauty of Geometry II

George was absolutely correct with his suggestion that the photographic subject I was referring to in my previous post was flowers. I think that a lot of what we find beautiful in flowers, and plants generally, is often derived from mathematical relationships evident in their structure. I’m fascinated by the appearance of math in nature and am often compelled to photograph it. I’ll post a few examples over the next few days.

I found this cluster of plants clinging to a sea cliff in Madeira. I have no idea of their identification so do say if you recognize them. They exhibit very well the common appearance of Fibonacci sequences in plants: the number of clockwise and anti-clockwise spirals are paired numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. In the larger of the plants in this image, the sequential pair is 3 and 5.

In the next post, I’ll demonstrate how the ratio between these numbers has a direct relationship with a device (some might say crutch) we often use in photography.

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8 Comments

  1. Tony says:

    My maths isn’t great and I can’t identify the plants…! Howver I can see their beauty. The composition and colouring allow the natural beauty of the plants to take center stage. Lovely patterns and details. Lovely photograph.

  2. Adrian Park says:

    Thanks Tony.

    In case anyone is interested, Khan Academy has a fun and easy to digest series of videos (3) about Math in nature and the Fibonacci sequence: one, two and three. Number two is particularly applicable to this image.

  3. Doug Hickok says:

    Utterly beautiful rendition of pattern, texture and light. I am reminded of Bach’s musical compositions, very mathematical in design! As a matter of fact, I can hear one playing now… :^)

  4. Focales says:

    The composition and processing allow the natural beauty of the plants. Sempervirum ???

  5. tom says:

    Just beautiful even without the maths :-)

  6. george says:

    1. Delighted I got it right!
    2. Probably Sempervirum as Marie says
    3. Amazing how the beauty of flora can be explained in mathematical terms.
    4. Nice pic!

  7. shooter says:

    Stunning, I love this

  8. Gill Thompson says:

    Love, love, love this image. The detail is amazing!

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