3 minute read

Get Creative With Square Format

The square format has a new popularity, but this highly symmetrical frame shape also brings great creative opportunities. Here’s just a few...

Photography is a largely rectangular pursuit. Whether you shoot using the 3:2, 4:3, or 16:9 ratios, you’re going to end up with a rectangular image at the end of it. But your FUJIFILM camera also allows you to make square 1:1 images, and there are some big benefits if you do so.

Below are some reasons as to why you should try creating in square format, but first you need to set up your camera.

It’s a Classic

Some of the greatest images ever made were done using the square format. This is because there was a time when roll-film cameras ruled the world. The 1:1 format was very popular then and so making square images can hark back to this era. For this reason, combining the square format with a black & white Film Simulation mode on your FUJIFILM camera can be a potent combination to create striking images.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Shoot Square

Photo © Dan Hogman

It Changes the Way You View Images

Take a few minutes to look at some of your images made using a rectangular format; it doesn’t matter which ones you pick. Look at those pictures using both portrait and landscape orientations. Do you notice anything about how you view these images?

Generally speaking, when we look at an image composed in the landscape orientation, our eyes move from one side of the frame to the other. With a portrait orientation, our eyes move up and down the frame. However, look at a square image and we tend to look around the frame in a circle. From a practical perspective, this means anything you place in the center of a square frame is going to get the most attention, while objects around the edges will be less important. Be sure to remember this when you compose your square photographs.

Photo © Nicole Young

It Will Make You Compose Differently

Following on from our previous point, framing square images means some compositional rules come to the fore, while others are less important. Symmetrical compositions are particularly effective, but the rule of thirds – often a mainstay of rectangular compositions – is less useful and you may abandon it altogether.

You may also find that you can readily break compositional rules and get great photos using the square format. If you positioned a main subject in the center of the frame when creating images in the rectangular format, for example, the result may lack impact because of the space on either side. But that’s much less of an issue when making square images, so be bold and go central. Similarly, using negative space can often be better in the square format.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Shoot Square

Photo © Alexander Tran

It Works for Any Subject

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the square format can only be used to make portraits. Sure, some of the format’s finest exponents photograph square, but that doesn’t mean it’s the sole preserve of the genre – quite the opposite. Landscapes, street, architecture, nature, sports, action; you name it, the square format is well suited to frame it.

Photo © Denise Silva

Give it a try using all the methods above and we’re sure you’ll soon be won over by the charms of creating in the square format.

Check out our video below to learn more about aspect ratio.