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The square format has found a new popularity, but this highly symmetrical frame shape also brings great creative opportunities.
 
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 shoot square 1:1 images, and there are some big benefits if you do so.
 
Below are some reasons as to why you should try shooting square, but first you need to set up your camera. It’s very simple to do.
 
Step 1: Press MENU OK and navigate to the IMAGE QUALITY SETTING menu.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Composition - shoot square

 
Step 2: Select IMAGE SIZE then scroll down to select the 1:1 option. You’re ready to go.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Composition - shoot square

It’s a Classic

Some of the greatest images ever taken were done using the square format. That’s because there was a time when roll-film cameras ruled the world. The 1:1 format was very popular then and so shooting square 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, Composition - shoot square© Dan Hogman

It Changes the Way You View Images

Take a few minutes to look at some of your images captured using a rectangular format; it doesn’t matter which ones you pick. Look at those shots using both portrait and landscape orientations. Do you notice anything about how you view these images?
 
Generally speaking, when we look at a shot 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. Look at a square shot, however, and we tend to look around the frame in a circle. From a practical perspective, this means that 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 shots.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Composition - shoot square
© Nicole Young

It Will Make You Compose Differently

Following on from our previous point, framing square shots 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 shots using the square format. If you positioned a main subject in the center of the frame when shooting 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 shooting square, so be bold and go central. Similarly, using negative space can often be better when shooting square.

© Alexander Tran

It Works for Any Subject

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the square format can only be used to shoot portraits. Sure, some of the format’s finest exponents shoot square, but that doesn’t mean that 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 capture it.

Learn photography with Fujifilm, Composition - shoot square
© 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 shooting square.

Your Next Steps

  • CHALLENGE This week we want you to switch your X Series camera into square frame crop mode and leave it there. Challenge yourself and shoot everything square. Post your five best pictures to social media with the hashtag #MyFujifilmLegacy. You can also submit your work here for a chance to be featured on our social media channels
  • WATCH Check out our video below to learn more about aspect ratio