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  1. #1
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    Cropping the square negative

    Simple question: How many of you crop the square negative and why or why not?
    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  2. #2
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
    Simple question: How many of you crop the square negative and why or why not?
    Simple answer: I crop any negative that needs it. Any neg that doesn't, gets printed intact.

    Less simple: I shoot 6x6. (Also 645 and 35mm) It may just be that I (we?) have been conditioned by all of the pictures seen in a lifetime, but most subjects seem to be either horizontally or vertically oriented.

    YMMV

    Cheers, y'all.

    David

  3. #3

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    Most 6x6 negatives wind up being cropped. This may be due to the "golden rectangle" being more pleasing to the eye. Very few subjects look good in a square format.

    I believe that the square format originated because the cameras that use this format would have been awkward to rotate 90 degrees had a rectangular format been used. It is left to the printer to crop in either landscape or portrait mode.

  4. #4
    david b's Avatar
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    I never do. I just like squares and I shoot with the intention of printing full frame.

  5. #5
    eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
    Simple question: How many of you crop the square negative and why or why not?
    I don't crop the square. If I want that PHI ratio, I would shoot 35mm.

  6. #6
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    I'm with David. I shoot both 6x6 and 35mm. I try to compose within the frame of whatever I'm shooting, but sometimes things just look better cropped, or 're-focused' to an area.

    I may or may not retain the shape of the original negative... I have cropped an enlargement of a 35mm to a square, and the 6x6 to a rectangle. I have also used the entire frame of each.

    I guess since this is such a creative process, I'm trying to figure out why you wouldn't just print whatever suits the frame for any particular negative. :o
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  7. #7
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWGirl
    I guess since this is such a creative process, I'm trying to figure out why you wouldn't just print whatever suits the frame for any particular negative. :o
    I think it's a purist/elitist thing. In the past when I shot 6x7, I always printed exactly what I shot, which I felt gave the viewer the message of "I intended to use this size/type of frame." When I started shooting 6x6 things became more difficult to frame. I almost never crop a 35mm frame more than a couple of millimeters on either side. With 6x6 I'm starting to rethink my previous feelings on cropping.

    Gerald,
    That is a good question: why did they create a 6x6 negative?
    Ara
    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  8. #8

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    I only shoot square when doing Holga. And with Holga full frame is a must. The corners needs to be included! No Crop There!

    When shooting 35 mm I often crop to square (I would like to get a 24x24 mm camera!).

    Morten

  9. #9
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Made two masks for the view finder on my C330f. One is for 8x10, the other for 5x7. I change them according to the print size I'm planning for the image. Main reason is matting and standard sizes. tim

  10. #10
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    The intentionality of cropping/not cropping is interesting in the context of cinema. In a movie camera, your film is travelling up/down instead of left-right; consequently, your picture frame is a bit more square than what you get from an SLR. To create a rectangular image on screen, they used various technique, the simplest being cropping--either during shooting, by using a mask, or during post-production. The other well-known technique is of course the anamorphic lens.

    Some directors like Stanley Kurbick have on occasions rebelled against this practice by shooting "full frame", without cropping, and without the aid of a mask. "The Paths of Glory" is a good example of it: when you rent it on DVD, you may think "Scheisse, I rented one of those stupid full-screen pan and scan transfers", but you are actually seeing the whole 35mm picture frame. I think Kurosawa did that too, for I remember a lot of his early movies having a square image.

    I'm not so found of cropping during printing myself because I really like to frame shots with my camera, so that it's easier to visualize what it will look like in the end, but frankly, what you crop on the enlarger is maybe what you would have cropped with your camera if the circumstances were proper. If your intention is to have your frame one way, then what's not used on the negative is not artistically relevant, probably only historically relevant if you end up being famous.

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