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  1. #1
    André E.C.'s Avatar
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    The square & the landscape!

    What`s your view on this?
    In my case, I need to relearn composition and perspective with the 6x6, wasn`t easy to see square.
    Isn`t a balanced composition harder to achieve than with the familiar rectangle?

    Cheers

    André

  2. #2

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    Since I'm not that long into 6x6 I'm still searching for a good mis-en-scene for landscapes. Street shots and people seem to benefit more from the format.

    One thing I already discovered is that I won't be using 6x6 that much for landscapes because of composition reasons.
    When prominent trees are involved, things quickly become easier.

    I'd rather swith to 9x6 for landscapes. It tends to be more natural. Did you ever see a perfect square in nature? Nor did I.
    9x6 lies so close to the golden cut (errrrrrrrr... is this the correct name for the almost 2/3?, I translated it rather litterally) which tends to support landscapes.

    It might be a challenge to capture landscapes in a square, free from all said rules.

    G

  3. #3
    Leon's Avatar
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    I think the best advice I've received so far was Les McLean telling me to not be constrained by my viewfinder. I do shoot square in the landscape (although not for true vista type landscapes) and generally print square too, but since paying heed to Les' advice, I have opened up a new world of opportunities from my 6x6 negs - crop, crop, crop!

  4. #4

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    I think my square compositions got better when I stopped thinking about it. I let my instinct tell me if something looks good.

    I have talked with others who said they shoot with the intention of cropping in the darkroom. I'm a full frame square print kind of guy.

    As for landscape shooting, I have never really been a grand sweeping landscape guy. I like to pick out pieces of the landscape that fit into the format I am shooting at the time. Maybe the square is not natural but it can be used to the photographer's advantage if they let it.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  5. #5
    rst
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    André,

    I also had to relearn, but it turns out that for me, it is easier to see a rectangle in the square than to see the square in the rectangle. That means, if you come from a smaller format, there is still much gain even if you crop to a landscape format.

    OTOH, I think there are subjects which beg for a square format and others that just do not fit well into it. I think using the whole format is good but being a slave of it is bad.

    BTW, a good example that it is possible to do very good square landscapes is the book "Japan" from Michael Kenna. Maybe not everyones cup of tea, but I like it.

    ciao
    -- Ruediger

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by argus
    landscapes.

    It might be a challenge to capture landscapes in a square, free from all said rules.

    G
    It is a bit of a challenge - but well worth the effort, IMO.
    Tom Hoskinson
    ______________________________

    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  7. #7
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by argus
    9x6 lies so close to the golden cut (errrrrrrrr... is this the correct name for the almost 2/3?, I translated it rather litterally) which tends to support landscapes.

    G
    G,

    Typical English names are golden mean, golden ratio, and golden section, and it's also represented mathematically with the greek character phi. It's also the ratio between sequential numbers in the Fibonacci series.

    Lee

  8. #8

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    It's also the ratio between sequential numbers in the Fibonacci series.
    The further you count, the better the match. :-)

    When I was mastering in music, we used to compute them into the zillions, just to pass that boring analysis class :-D

    G

  9. #9
    david b's Avatar
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    It's funny that this should come up.

    I am going on an extended trip (for me) and have been debating whether or not to take the Hasselblad or the Mamiya 7II.

    I will be in a place that has pyramids and ruins and can mentally see it in the 6x7 viewfinder, so framing it in a square will be interesting and different.

    I'm not one for cropping as I tend to print full frame so this will be interesting.

  10. #10

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    I have to say that for me the desire to make square or close to square photographs came before, and drove, the acquisition of a 6x6 camera. I've always felt uncomfortable with the angular shape of 35mm and if I hadn't then I'd have bought a 645 camera, because cropping aside its easier when your viewfinder is about the same shape as the images you want to end up with.

    So whilst I'm sure that it is possible to "get used to it", does the fact that you have to work at it, or might crop a majority of your photographs as some do, mean that you have the wrong format? Whilst one's judgement of what works and doesn't work will surely improve with thought and practise, I wonder whether it will get to be as good as using a format in which tends to be most natural.

    Personally I crop less than 5% of my photographs. That isn't because I resist cropping - its because I'm working in a format I've felt comfortable with.

    David Henderson
    www.photography001.com

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