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Thread: The Square Format

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Milford Pa.

    Re: The Squaes Format

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    I think part of why I like square format is you never have to rotate for horizontal / vertical
    i have never really shot square formats. but a few years back i was playing with a 6x6 folder and shooting pinhole images.....i often found myself turning the camera on on end. i would get the negs back and half would be rotated.....DOH!
    My YouTube Channel has many interesting videos on Soft Focus Lenses and Wood Cameras. Check it out.

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  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Re: The Square Format

    I love square. It got me back into photography big time after an on and off hiatus. I don't crop 4x5, however... I use a Mamiya C330. Mostly Provia 400X film, I'm really happy with the combination. Sometimes I stitch two 6x6 frames together.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Re: The Square Format

    The square format lends itself to one type of composition: center-the-subject. Nothing wrong with that strategy, but it does make static pictures. While I've seen plenty of 6x6 shooters push and stretch that frame, it always wants to come back to the center.
    Maybe that's the allure of the square: battle between the gremlins of centering and the fight to make dynamic pictures.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Re: The Square Format

    Hmm... that's a bit harsh, I think. Other aspect ratios can be just as bland.

    Here's some very random images I was happy with in 6x6... I actually find it quite challenging to find compositions that work in that format. For me, it works better with still life and portraiture. I see landscapes wider.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Athens, Greece

    Re: The Square Format

    One of my 6x9 cassettes for my Arca has an insert to crop to 6x6. I've only ever used it for one catalog production, when we were shooting lots and lots of small objects (what they use digital for these days). Somehow the incentive to use the insert and 6x6 is not big enough, especially since taking 12 pictures in large format might take a long time for me now.

    I do like 6x6 with a TLR a lot though.

  6. #16
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Ottawa, Canada

    Re: The Square Format

    Square is fantastic; until I got back into LF three years ago, I only shot squares.
    You can see them if you visit my website.
    I shot people, people and more people, and it's a lovely format for portraiture, whether or not you want to compose formally.

  7. #17
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    Re: The Square Format

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard A Johnson View Post
    Lately I have been very impress with images composed using the square format.I have always favored the rectangle 4x5,5x7,6x7cm, and 6x9cm. But I came across some black & white portfolios on you-tube presented with this format.I am intrigued as to how powerful the images are. I have started to play around with 21/4x21/4 medium format. But I am a large format user for the most part and was wondering if anyone is using there large format cropped to a square format and what your thoughts are on this subject. There is something about the beauty of looking at square images that I just can't seem shake.

    I'm interested in your thoughts.

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  8. #18

    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: The Square Format

    Quote Originally Posted by johnmsanderson View Post
    For me, it works better with still life and portraiture. I see landscapes wider.
    I do landscape in square mostly though not large format. They are not necessarily centered. Here some examples from my website


  9. #19

    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: The Square Format

    The square can be lovely, and using a terrific camera like a Rolleiflex can be much of the reason the experience is a good one. Some stuff fits nicely into that frame.

    I have a couple of books that are collections of square photographs, and for some reason, viewing the pictures can get monotonous, at least to me.

    Helmut Newton used to talk about using medium format in his fashion and portrait work. He usually planned to crop off the sides to give him a vertical rectangle.

    Years later, reviewing his old work, he found he was fascinated by some of the stuff going on at those edges. He liked it and started to include it.

    At the risk of letting this thread veer farther out of bounds into medium format, I can't resist posting a link to the work of Victor Ben Zvi. He uses a Rolleiflex and employs the square for his portraits and landscapes:

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Re: The Square Format

    A TLR is a great way to shoot people. I love the square format for this purpose. I also like how subject interaction works with a TLR, the way the camera is operated and held low, and the sheer beauty of the things (which of course means nothing for the photo).

    For the things I shoot with large format, I don't think I'd like the square format. It should be easy to mask the ground glass though, and if you are a purist (or have other reasons) you could make a square dark slide to get squares on the negatives/slides.

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