Join the race for amazing prizes and everlasting glory and submit your finest photos to our ongoing competitions such as The Wider Picture. Good luck!

Simple Composing Tips for Square Shooters

2012-03-20 2

Medium format film is often shot in cameras with a 6×6 square aspect ratio of 1:1 (as opposed to 3:2 in many 35mm cameras). Composing your shots for a square is often quite different to shooting a rectangular image.

Credits: slumbrnghok

Square format can seem a bit daunting if you’ve only ever shot with a rectangular 35mm compostition, especially since the film costs more on a frame to frame basis. The best thing to do is plunge straight in and start shooting. Remember Rule 5. Get closer! and Rule 6. Don't think! It won’t take you too long to get stuck in and find your own unique approach.

With a square format, you can place your subject straight in the center of the frame and create a dynamic composition — which isn’t necessarily true for other formats.

Credits: slumbrnghok

I also seem to get much closer to subjects without the picture appearing strange. Shots that are square are perhaps tougher to compose because there is less area to place the subject on one third of the image (as opposed to 35mm frames).

When shooting rectangular images it is no doubt simpler to compose the shot with a subject using the Rule of Thirds. Likewise, applying a theory like the Golden Ratio can also help produce interesting compositions. While these techniques lend themselves to the dimensions of a 35mm frame, well, I didn’t find them so helpful, initially, in composing for medium format.

Certainly, the Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio are useful for the subject within the frame but they don’t help me as much when framing up my square shot.

This is where I would be inclined to suggest you fill your square frame as completely as possible with your subject. There is such a large image area that you don’t want to waste any of it by not including information. Where 35mm 3:2 style shots can look good with some space in the frame I much prefer to have the square frame filled up with my subject. Here are some examples:

Credits: slumbrnghok

To find out more about the Golden Ratio and the rule of thirds check these Golden Ratio on Wikipedia and Rule of Thirds on Wikipedia.

written by slumbrnghok on 2012-03-20 #gear #tutorials #square-format #medium-format #mf-film #tipster #lomography #art #120 #composition #framing

More Interesting Articles

  • Lomography X FOTO HITS Medium Format Rumble

    written by Lomography on 2015-11-26 #news
    Lomography X FOTO HITS Medium Format Rumble

    With an expanded field of view and its ability to produce high quality images and capture minute detail, medium format photography has become the top choice of many photographers. Lomography is working hard to make sure that it keeps going with the continued production of medium format film and cameras. The current issue of German magazine FOTO HITS focuses on medium format photography. And with this rumble, we want to prove why medium format photography is king. Take your Diana F+, Holga 120, Lubitel 166+ or the new Lomo LC-A 120 and show us your best square shots!

    2015-11-26 2
  • My First Time with the LC-Wide: danika

    written by Lomography on 2015-10-16 #news #gear
    My First Time with the LC-Wide: danika

    The LC-Wide is definitely one of Lomography's must-have cameras. Its Minigon 1 Ultra-Wide-Angle lens adds a different flavor to your shots, on top of the stunning vignettes, intense colors and breathtaking saturation and contrast LC-A cameras are known for. The Lomography Team is no stranger to the LC-Wide's creative potential, and has proven it capable of the most captivating images. First on the list is danika, from the Lomography Headquarters in Vienna.

    2015-10-16
  • First Impressions of the New Jupiter 3+ Art Lens: Maxime Fardeau

    written by Lomography on 2016-01-22 #people
    First Impressions of the New Jupiter 3+ Art Lens: Maxime Fardeau

    Maxime Fardeau, or Max as he is fondly called, loves film. He has been shooting analogue for about four years and owns a number of 35mm film and instant cameras, such as the Leica M6 and SLR-670 Polaroid. He has taken photos using the Lomo'Instant and the Minitar-1 Art Lens and this time around, he provides a glimpse of the images she produced with the Jupiter 3+ Art Lens.

    2016-01-22 2
  • Shop News

    Check the New Super Sampler Black Panther!

    Check the New Super Sampler Black Panther!

    The ultra-lightweight, low-maintenance 35mm camera that fits perfectly in your hand for some wild and spontaneous shooting!

  • Taking Back Tipsters: Essential Pinhole Photography Hacks

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-04-24 #tutorials
    Taking Back Tipsters: Essential Pinhole Photography Hacks

    This World Pinhole Photography Day is your chance to shift from the usual 35mm pinhole cameras to the unconventional medium format, stereoscopic or instant do-it-yourself' pinhole cameras. You can even turn the LomoKino into a pinhole video camera. Challenge yourself and take a pick from this list of Tipsters.

    2016-04-24 1
  • Robin Rimbaud Shoots with the LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-10-05 #people
    Robin Rimbaud Shoots with the LC-A 120

    Robin Rimbaud is a UK based artist, record producer, and composer who works under the name "Scanner" in reference to his use of mobile phone signals and police scanners in his early performances. He has worked on soundtracks for films, sound installations, radio, dance and theater. Robin also has a passion for medium format photography, owns a Holga camera and has a unique photographic style. Get to know him in this interview, where he talks about his personal work as well as his experience with the Lomo LC-A 120.

    2015-10-05 1
  • Blue for Hue: Day and Night Visions on Kono! Donau Film

    written by Lomography on 2015-10-19 #news #gear
    Blue for Hue: Day and Night Visions on Kono! Donau Film

    Not all photographs are meant to be seen in vibrant, saturated colors, and neither are they always suitable for in black and white. Lomography welcomes yet another innovation from KONO! The Reanimated Film. Without diminishing the aesthetic value of images, KONO! Donau 35mm Film casts a distinct blue tone to photos. It is ultra-low ISO film that is best used for long exposure shots. Check out this fine selection of uniquely tinted images.

    2015-10-19
  • Shop News

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    A resurrection from the zenith of Russian premium optics, get the same elegance and classic compact design as its predecessor. — available in small quantities on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Make Every Instant Count: The New Lomography Mystery Product Part 2

    written by Lomography on 2016-08-26 #gear #news
    Make Every Instant Count: The New Lomography Mystery Product Part 2

    Still feeling in the dark after the first clue? Hopefully this will help to shed some light on it.

    2016-08-26 9
  • Lomopedia: Pentacon f1.8 50mm Lens

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-08-26 #gear
    Lomopedia: Pentacon f1.8 50mm Lens

    Looking for a workhorse vintage lens? Look no further and cop a Pentacon f1.8 50mm prime lens.

    2016-08-26 6
  • Now on Display: 5 Art Shows to Stop by This Weekend

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-08-26 #places
    Now on Display: 5 Art Shows to Stop by This Weekend

    Retrospective shows on solo artists and photographers are coming your way during your downtime.

    2016-08-26 1
  • Shop News

    Celebrate summer with the Lomo'Instant San Sebastián

    Celebrate summer with the Lomo'Instant San Sebastián

    Walk along the sandy shore, take a dip and splash around, and celebrate summer with the Lomo'Instant San Sebastián! Inspired by the Spanish surf town, this nifty newest edition of the Lomo'Instant is perfect to capture your colorful instant summer snaps!

  • In Memory of the Forte Factory

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-08-26 #places
    In Memory of the Forte Factory

    Witness what the former Hungarian photographic film manufacturer's factory has become.

    2016-08-26 2
  • 15 Manipulated Photographic Prints from the Vintage Archives

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-08-26 #culture
    15 Manipulated Photographic Prints from the Vintage Archives

    Apparently, many 19th and 20th century photographers have already found their way around photomanipulation even before Photoshop.

    2016-08-26 1
  • Around the World in Analogue: Puno, Peru

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-08-26 #places
    Around the World in Analogue: Puno, Peru

    "Around the World in Analogue" is your bite-size guide to the most amazing travel destinations across the globe, as documented by the members of the Lomography community. Today, lomographer Claudia Oliva takes us to Puno, Peru.

    2016-08-26 3