No problems composing landscape in a square format here, but i try not to
be too dogmatic about it. To me the groundglass is an area I can play with,
if it suits the picture I will crop.
But I do have a problem with the enlarging : Let's assume I've got three pictures,
the first a square (make it an 8" by 8" size), the second 4:5, the third 2:3, now,
how big do the other two pictures have to be, so that they appear to be of same size
and therefore equally important, this is driving me nuts ...
Either I'm lucky (or maybe a lousy photographer ), or maybe it has to do with also doing some painting and drawing -- I find I quickly adapt to whatever the frame shows. I have about three different rectangular aspect ratios plus square in my collection of cameras, and I really don't think much about it. Of course, I'm also not adverse to cropping however I see fit when I'm printing if I see an idea that feels better to me. That said, there are some occasional subjects that do seem to call out "make me square!"
I guess if all film did stop being produced within the next ten years, or if for some reason I could not physically get out to photograph, I would have enough negatives to print as long as I was physically able to print without having to resort to enlarged inkjet negs from digital capture. So I guess that is a blessing. LOL!
Part of my way of photographing (and printing) is to use all of the neg, whether it be square, 5x7 or 8x10 (or 4x10). Like Dave, I have no problem finding images that fill the negative, so I tend to do so. I use a modified darkslide to get two 4x10 images on my 8x10...I just flashed on the idea of taking another darkslide and modifying it to get 8"x8" images. It would be very simple to do, and it would get me to think more about the square when I am out with the 8x10. A neat thought. Since I contact print with alt processes and like to show the rebate around the image area of the film when I print and display the image, I really don't "think square" when I carry the 8x10. The weight of the modified darkslide would be nothing.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
I don't know, for sure, but I have a couple of instantly occurring thoughts.
Originally Posted by noumin
1) You want them to look equal. So print them so they look equal.
Forget all theory. Just look at them.
2) Try printing them all to the same area. Square inches, square
centimeters, etc. For example, the square equivalent of an 8x10,
would be an 8.94 square.
Will either of these work? Let us know.
Concerning the appearance of formats, I've been doing some maths
and sketching. On the attachment you can see various formats
(square, 4x5, 645, 35mm, 612) and they are all of the same area.
To me the square appears slightly smaller than the rest of it and the
612 slightly larger than the rest of it. But I'm not sure as, to me, the
difference is minute.
OTOH, if the difference is minute, why bother at all ? If you want a picture
of a series of pictures to stand out above the others, I think you really
have to move up a size (8x10 > 12x16), then it stands out. But if I print them
all the same area, within a certain range, none of the pictures will stand out.
Much ado about nothing then.
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Difference in sight I guess. For me the square looks largest and they decrease in size as you move to the right.
I'm having a hard time understanding your comment that all the formats are of the same area. A 6x12 is two 6x6's in area.
Originally Posted by noumin
Isn't he showing an outline of a print from each format with the same area.
Originally Posted by Early Riser
What's more important is how you mix the formats at an exhibition/publication stage.
I've thought quite hard about this as I shoot 5x4 & 10x8, as well as 6x17 and more recently 6x6. I made my decisions about actual print sizes based on visual comparisons, rather than any maths, how the final exhibition prints work together despite the format differences is quite critical. I prefer a coherence once the work is hung, but I often use a few images larger than the rest.
I think the format you choose depends on your personality. I always make squares, and that's perfect for me in portraits, landscapes, and every other kind of photography.
I tend to notice that panoramic images are made by very stable and calm people - maybe somewhere there's a corelation?
Y'know, the square simply doesn't equal any other rectangle.
A square is a very special case. It is, among rectangles, unique. Visually it has dynamic properties that are precisely specific to it. Just WHAT these properties are is subject to some speculation. My opinion and yours may not agree, but different they are nonetheless. That difference provides a very important, yes, the fundamental essential characteristic of the image. One might say that a square is a more passive format, but of course, it also depends upon the graphic content and the way that the visual elements are presented and organized; that could make the passive form internally active, even to the point of violence or chaos. As I mentioned before, designers have told me that they enjoy it because it provides them with lots of options in what they can do with it.
How does the eye move around inside the frame, and how, as designers, do we direct the eye through our graphic choices? A lot of photographers, I think, don't understand that, whether conscious or unconscious of it, they ARE designers, not just "picture takers". That is, even if they are just taking a picture. Design is not a set of skills that most of us are born with; maybe no one is. It is something that must be learned, whether that learning is formal or not. Designing by imitation may work in some individual circumstances, but to do so is simply to commit to a superficial reproduction of others' images, or a class of images. This happens unconsciously, usually. To actively design, it is a whole lot better if one makes decisions wide awake.
Even if they are the same # of sq. units, no two rectangles are the same if their aspect ratio differs. The aspect of the frame is the very basis of what makes the photograph, painting, etc.
If you can't or won't design within a specific bounded space, you can or will do NOTHING in this medium or in any other.