Humm, I often like square format images but I crop my 6x6 to rectangles or leave square depending in the image. I've always had my square images mounted, matted and (only one so far) framed square. The idea of putting a square image in a rectangular frame honestly never occurred to me. I'll have to think about that one and look at some examples.
For some images the square works perfectly. It can also just depend on the visual elements present. It seems to me that good composition is often about being able to frame a pleasing image while excluding distractions and visual irrelevancies. So it just depends on the scene. I happily crop to suit and don't expect the world to always match the image shape of the camera I'm using.
Generally when one shoots in a rectangular format the composition fits the rectangular format.
Generally when one shoots in a square format the composition fits the square format.
The OP's photograph was composed for a square format and therefore will usually be best presented in a square format unless something needs to be cropped out.
Formulaic proportions are one size fits all solutions and therefore rarely fit any solution. Hence always changing a square composition to a rectangular one or a rectangular composition to a square one as a standard approach is more of a lack of understanding composition or total lack of imagination and original thought.
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I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
I personally like there to a bit more space on the bottom part of the mat than on the sides/top. So my suggestion would be; don't be stuck on standard sizes and think outside the box. Determine what width looks good for the top/sides and add about 20-30% for the bottom part. For for a 12x12 inch print I would probably go for 3 inch for the top & sides and 4 inch at the bottom making it a slightly rectangular frame. It will cost you a little bit more than a standard frame but it will look nicer and will stand out more at the show. And if you often print square at 12 x 12, you can easily re-use the frame in the future for other photos making it worth the extra $.
I've done the reverse too. A slightly rectangular photo in a custom square frame. It looked better to me than in a standard size rectangular frame.
Good luck with the show.
Last edited by spijker; 12-25-2013 at 02:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I had a square print I made as a gift for my inlaws professionally mounted, matted and framed and she left a bit of the white border around three sides and more on the bottom for my signature. I can see the same principle working nicely if expanded to a bit more matt in the bottom.
Thanks everyone and Merry Christmas. Lots of good ideas here, and I like the concept of "optical centering." It would be good to use a frame I already have, and I do have one that's 18x24, though that might be too rectangular.
Not sure what brought on the comment about juries. I'm not looking for acceptance or validation. This particular show is an annual one dedicated to "lo-fi" cameras and lenses, and it's one that I've followed for a while. It will be my second year participating. As far as cropping, I don't do it as a rule (short of, say, shaving off an edge here or there to eliminate a distraction). If I got into the habit of recomposing photos that I've already taken, I might lose my mind. Anyway, I think this works well as a square. I know the E-6 cross-processed colors are a bit garish, but that's the negative scan, and the test prints I've made so far are more muted.
Thanks again everyone for looking and taking the time to comment...
I think it works well as a square, regardless of how you decide to frame it.
I also don't think presenting your work to a jury is a desire for acceptance or validation. It's a show of confidence. Good luck.
Add up all the dimensions provided, divide by the number or responses to your question.
All I know is, I would have saved lots of time and money with standard frame sizes. In your case, with a 12X12 mat window or mount, the frame would be a 22X28. If you printed a bit smaller, to have a window or mount that is 11X11, then a 16X20 frame would work. Noticeable bottom weight on both accounts.