Quote Originally Posted by mhv
.....starting from the given shape of your camera is a way to save time on re-framing the shot in the darkroom. If you want to make an 20x24 out of a 6x6, you will need to do a little bit more enlargement than if you did it from a 6x7, and that could make a difference on your finished product. It's actually not a compromise: you're trying to maximise the potential of your tools.

Your not understanding it has no bearing on whether it is or not a good methodology.
Er, yeah thanks for the last statement.

I guess it comes down to priorities. I would feel that the proportions of a print are more important than enlargement size. I would therefore rather crop a 6x6 to a rectangular print (if that is the proportions I thought it needed) than to accept it as a sqaure (and therefore not crop the neg in the darkroom). I agree that the 'frame' can help compose, but it hinders as much as it assists. The world around us is not presented in 1:1 or 1.25:1 ratios. The photographer gets to choose the way final images are presented and does not have to accept the proportions of a viewfinder. The right shape is right shape. If that is square fine, if rectangular fine regardless of the viewfinder shape you started with. Not allowing oneself this flexiblity surely is a compromise on the aesthetic qualities of the image unless size is more important - personally it never is for me. I would rather have a well balanced 12x16 than a 16x16 thats less good, if the aesthetics were stronger in the rectangular format. I would consider the keeping 4 unwanted inches pointless.

You say, "[cropping a 6x6 to rectangular] If you want to make an 20x24 out of a 6x6, you will need to do a little bit more enlargement than if you did it from a 6x7, and that could make a difference on your finished product. It's actually not a compromise: you're trying to maximise the potential of your tools." You are compromising if you think the image looks right as a rectangle but wont crop it because you dont want to waste 'neg area' thus sticking to a square!

Are aesthetics not more important than sheer size? Either way it is a compromise, but I take photos to produce things I hope are aesthetically pleasing rather than just 'BIG'