Square or qeer: the 1:1 aspect ratio
Michael Freeman, a respected authority for composition in photography, writes in his book
about the square format that “you need a very good reason to choose THIS format over portait or landscape”. There is a danger that square photos can look boring, unattractive (though harmonic and peaceful).
However, viewing conventions can change and actually DID change recently.
First of all, we often look at our photos on TV screens or computer screens, which are not only landscape but also quite often 16:9, while prints become rare. A portait photo on a 16:9 screen looks, well, odd, to say the least. That’s why I adopted the square format and use it frequently or always where I would have used portrait in the past. My camera, the Panasonic GH1, supports this format natively – no cropping involved.
Furthermore, social photo sharing sites like instagram are entirely bound to square photos. Because these social sharing sites become more and more popular, people get used to the square format. It appears less queer than it might have appeared maybe 10 years ago.
Below are some examples that, at least I hope so, show that the format is not necessarily boring or dull. Let me know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the post.
You will find square photos quite frequently in many of my blog posts, or you may head over to flickr and have a look at my dedicated square picture album:
[ Divisions ]
[ Phase change ]
[ Wooden chalet in Wallis/Valais, Switzerland ]
[ Window ]
[ Take control ]
[ Wooden bridge in Thun, Switzerland ]
[ Aare gorge, Meiringen, Switzerland ]
[ Backup Fence ]