365 Project Meets the Fibonacci Sequence
Last week I had the pleasure of photographing the Cade Museum during one of their sneak peek events, and the results were mind-blowing. For those of you who may not know, the Cade Museum is located in Gainesville, FL with a mission of "inspiring future inventors, entrepreneurs and visionaries." It's named after Dr. James Robert Cade, who is most notably known for being the lead inventor of Gatorade but was truly a Renaissance man at heart. The design of the building seems to speak to that fact with its homage to the Fibonacci sequence. The entire campus is designed with that golden ratio in mind.
I remember seeing construction developments and eagerly anticipating the final outcome. I could tell its skeleton had good form. As soon as I walked through the doors I was immediately taken by the feel of it. Everywhere you look there are angles, lines, shapes, and light, so much light. The exterior is just as interesting as the interior. Here are a couple of sneak peek shots from my shoot that day.
As you can see, I found it pretty amazing. Immediately I thought these images should be incorporated into the 365 Project, but I already had another idea in mind. I battled with myself over how to handle week 41. As I talked out my concerns I realized a valuable lesson was playing out and I had all the power in steering its direction. Shaun McNiff's Trust the Process began to ring in my ears. Sometimes you have an idea, and sometimes another idea comes into the foreground with much more spark and soul. Do you hold on to the initial seed thought and discard the new, maybe save it for a future project? Or do you fertilize the new and harvest some delicious fruit? I knew in my heart that this route was the way to go. I'm not saying it was easy, the blog is late for a reason, but it was invaluable to fight the battle and trust the process.
I selected an image showcasing the building's iconic skylight and a good amount of lines and curves. I knew I was on the right track as soon as I imported it onto the 365 raw file and started cycling through the blend modes. All the doubts and blocks evaporated in that instant. I wanted to incorporate some text into the imagery, and thought it would be interesting to overlay the Fibonacci sequence itself. Why not use the first 365 numbers of the sequence in honor of the 365 Project? I set off on a quest to find these numbers in an accessible way. The Project Gutenberg website led me to the source. Professor Simon Plouffe wrote the very book I was looking for, The First 1001 Fibonacci Numbers.
This led me down a rabbit hole of learning more about Professor Plouffe, which led to learning more about Fibonacci. Simon Plouffe is a renowned mathematician and Associate Professor at the University of Quebec at Montreal, with a dedication to the number pi. In 1975 he set the world record for reciting the most digits of pi, which at the time was 4096 digits! You can read more about his work on his website here. This should be especially enticing to all the math buffs out there!
Now to learn more about the Fibonacci sequence. I was already familiar with its elegant form found throughout the universe, but the history of it was vague to me. It's namesake comes from an Italian mathematician Leonardo Pisano Bigallo, aka Fibonacci (he seemed to go by several different names). He was born to a wealthy merchant family and had spent some time traveling the Middle East, captivated by their mathematical system.
His seminal book Liber Abaci (1202) introduced two important concepts to the western world: 1) the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, and 2) the Fibonacci sequence. From what I could gather, Fibonacci posed a question about rabbit mating habits (quoted above) whose answer was a sequence of numbers now known as the Fibonacci sequence. Interestingly, and unsurprisingly, the sequence had first been described in India possibly as early as 200 BC in relation to poetry of all things. Fibonacci was the first to introduce it to the western world, and thus the sequence was named after him.
Sorry for the history detour. I learned so much preparing for this blog post that I just had to share it with all of you. I've only just scratched the surface of the history of the Fibonacci sequence and Fibonacci the person. I was enamored with Professor Plouffe's lifelong dedication to pi and mathematics in general, and I am grateful for his willingness to share his work with the world. All of these elements have inspired me greatly this week. The edits should reflect that fact. I think we can all agree that, history aside, this sequence produces the most beautiful form in the universe.
Without further ado I bring you week 41! What did you get from all this? Is there an edit that struck you the most? What are you reminded of? Please leave your comments below. Thank you for your support.