Artistical shots in 1:1 format/crop?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by mihnea_simian, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. Do you think that the 1:1 format/crop is suitable for an artistical
    shot? because i believe that an artistical composition is more
    balanced when it's in 4:3 or 3:2 format (i mean.. a wide point of
    view, not a square photo that concentrates all the attention in the
    center, cause we don't want that, do we?) I also think the square
    format tightens up the subject and creates no perspective (or a flat
    one). I'm AGAINST 1:1 artistical-photography. How about you?
  2. Square format has it's purposes. Maybe you should say you are against poorly composed
    photography instead. Could you really be against a form of photography or artistic
    expression? I think a square format is more challenging, but I'm definitely not against it.
  3. Mihnea,why do you think asquare photo concentrates all the attention in the center? It is not necessarily so.
  4. Keith Laban Photography
    " I'm AGAINST 1:1 artistical-photography. How about you?"
    It's bad enough that they shoot 1:1, worse still when it's artistical.
  5. I'm against trolls. How about you?
  6. The end product is what counts.

    I take 1:1 on my Hasselblad and love it even though it presents compositional challenges
    at times. It is not necessarily a bad thing that attention slides to the centre, the rule of
    thirds being a medieval construct designed to teach artists of the time some basic rules of
    composition. Our liking for it, perhaps, stems simply from familiarity. (And what does
    familiarity breed...?) Someone once pointed out that "true" human perspective would
    result in photgraphs vaguely spectacle shaped with two tiny points of sharp focus - no-
    one yet makes film or sensors this way...

    I am FOR all photography.

  7. I suppose any proposition is valid in a philosophy forum, but really, saying you are against square images per se seems rather sterile and pointless.
    Images stand or fall on their own particular merits. If you assess every image in terms of a set of rules, you are missing the point of "artistical-photography".
  8. I think the true expression of all true high artistic endeavour can only be found in the
    triangle. Look at the pyramids, I mean, they are still a wonder of the world. It is due to
    their triangular nature. Whilst it is true that the regularity of the equilateral triangle often
    tends towards the banal in the photographic image, it is still superior in every way to the
    round, oblong, square or (heaven help us) octagonal pictures that we see all around us.
    One only needs to look at the work of such greats as Weston, Eggleston, Brandt & HCB to
    realise that there was a reason that they used the isoceles triangle almost exclusively for
    their important work.

    I am AGAINST all photography that is not presented in a triangular format.

    All else is merely the spastic ejaculations of dilettantes.
  9. any shapes a good shape for a picture. robert, why are you so nasty all the time?
  10. Your post makes no sense. Who says that a square composition places everything in the center? The person who makes the composition decides where something is placed. Square, rectangle, triangle, etc, who cares what the shape of the frame is? Do what you as an "artistical" person deems the most appropriate for the most effective image. It almost seems rediculous to discuss this because there is no image on the table. You bring up only "artistical photography" which is very generic. What about vertical format? You have to use the format you think is most effective for the specific composition.
  11. Yes, triangles are definitely the most armonic shapes. I do not agree with 1:1 shots as putting them in front with 3:2 / 4:3. I like the photos you've posted.. but i would still have preffered the same subjects shot in 'wide-view'.

    The square tightens the view, is like looking through a small hole. It's also something exact (the equivalence between width and height), it's like watching a painter drawing his artistical works with a ruler.

    I'm not exactly against 1:1, but i preffer the same shot taken in 3:2 / 4:3. So this is my next question, wouldn't those shots (1:1) look better in 'wide-view'?
    (Let's also mention that the human's vision is in wide-view.. we do have 2 eyes..)
  12. What a lame idea. I often wonder how people who are interested in photography can be at the same time so close minded and dogmatic. Being AGAINST things in general is stupid. I can't imagine how many other things the poster is AGAINST. What a stupid existence.
  13. "Let's also mention that the human's vision is in wide-view.. we do have 2 eyes"

    great, if your purpose is making art is to show me something I can see already. Why don't I just go walk around with my eyes and look instead of looking at art.
  14. Matt, I'm against bad pictures, i'm against techinques that affect the value of a photo. I'm also against discrimination, rasism and plenty of things, ain't we all? Brian, photography is capturing aspects of life (the walks you talked about), not just digital effects.. . Illusionsm/romantisism .. they're not exclusive arts. I rather preffer the natural methods (realism, classicism). I hoped we can have a decent discussion.. you're answears aren't very rude.
  15. I apologize if my answers seemed rude, but you came with a very strong statement against the square format without any specific examples. Although I agree that some are better square and some rectangular, without a specific image, you've eliminated a compositional possibility way too early. Also, I don't understand why you cropped mine to a vertical when before you were talking about a wide point of view. I don't prefer realism or recreating the scene to show someone exactly how it looked. I like my stuff graininy, rough, odd angles, etc, and that's just me. My composition is different than your version, and that is fine. The differences in opinions, ideas, etc are what make us all individual. Think of how boring it would be if we all thought the same way.
  16. That's true.. ! That's the kind of answer i was waiting for.. I'll take some time to reflect upon it. Anyhow.. one thing i've got to say: the answear i'm looking for probably doesn't exist in our world; i'm actualy trying to find out how does the absolute esthetic look? .. when we all know beauty is relative.. I may like 3:2, you like 1:1.. there's no absolute truth!

    PS: Matt's answer seemed rude to me, i'm sorry i haven't mentioned.
  17. Minhea, I think it's fair to say composition determines ideal format (well illustrated by Dave's excellent shot above).

    Of course, if your working in other formats, eg 6x7, you may need to crop. I think this supports Brian's point.

    A shot of a duck with young moving across water on a PN user's personal site has been cropped horizontally, I would guess, by at least 75% to a very narrow rectangle.

    I doubt if there is any single ideal format.

    "the true expression of all true high artistic endeavour can only be found in the triangle" Robert, you've just written off 99% of Western art since the early renaissance. I'm sure this wasnt your intention (aren't I magnanimous).

  18. i can't believe that only one of you has come out with me in adulation of the triangle.....99% written off indeed. The sadness is that leaves us with only 1% of true ART out there. It's a sad world. I attach my own humble crop below of Brian's photo, so as to perfectly illustrate my thesis. rx
  19. ....and I haven't even touched on the HEPTAGONALOID RHOMBUS.
  20. The question is regressive. The answer is recursive.
  21. All of the above.
  22. --I have a life. I make photographs. I am out of this group as of this moment thanks largely to the hostile and negative posts within the spirit of "H.P." If "H.P" evinces the aspirations of this forum, then I have no part of it. Life is short. Spend no more time here.--

    hey pico you got all nasty at old hp cause he called you on yor fibs and here yo are back at it agin. you ever gonna tell the truth round here?
  23. Jimmie, a word to the wise: I'm gratefull for your support but you're in danger of falling into the same trap as the person you're annoyed by. Much better to ignore him and contribute positively to the forum. Learn from my mistake and don't get drawn into these feuds, it just isn't worth it.
  24. So I tucked my hair up under my hat...and went in to ask him why.

    Shapes, shapes, everywhere shapes!
  25. I am against Doric columns. I think Ionian are much more balanced and more exciting and interesting and lead the eye in a more balanced way.Now,let us have a testable propositon about the geometry of the square.
  26. Ahhh, ahhhh, ahhhh-troll!

    This is as ridiculous a query as ever posted here and a hidebound point of view as well.

    A better question is why do many people who engage in a creative art want to impose so many restrictions: aspect ratio, manipulation, etc?

    Mr. Simian (??) open your mind to other possibilities.
  27. Jimmy Smith:
    "hey pico you got all nasty at old hp cause he called you on yor fibs and here yo are back at it agin. you ever gonna tell the truth round here?"

    First of all, there were no "fibs". H.P. cast lies. Stick you your chest and tell it like it is.

    So, one more person calling me a liar. Now just what is going on here? I make honest posts, and you call me a liar. HOW CAN I EVEN BEGIN TO RESPECT THIS FORUM? Are you H.P. in another guise or are you just another challenged individual? You don't like my pictures? Cool.

    OKAY, I AM OUT OF HERE PERMANANTLY. What a waste of time this place is if you (H.P.) are the shining exemplar.

    You are what you wish to be. Pitty your judgement.

    H. P.:
    "Jimmie, a word to the wise: I'm gratefull for your support but you're in danger of falling into the same trap as the person you're annoyed by."

    Just how did my posts just above this one offend anyone? What did I do wrong (except, perhaps to make them loop three times?)

    Something else is going on here, and I suspect it's something about posters' deficient personalities.

    So, THIS is the end.

    I'm off the 'net right now. I gave it a shot. You make it just miserable. What are you REALLY protesting?


    Fed up. This is just one sad place.
  29. to respond to the original question:

    Asa n old proverb says "it is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."
  30. I think what we have here, to go back to the American movie classic, Cool Hand Luke, is a failure to communicate. As an outsider, I see Minhea posting an obvious troll statement, Robert X. taking it to a humorous extreme, and a lot of a personality clashes and coarsening of conversation in- between. There have been much better disucssions recently on the "general" forum than here. Maybe folks don't take themselves so seriously over there. I've always been fascinated by the square. I've cropped 4x5s to a square, 2x3s to a square, but I only have a few pictures that I've taken with a square camera full frame. It's a challenge. And who gives a *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* anyway? Your kids or your friends or your clients won't be impressed with your flash/web skills 20 years from now.
  31. I'm still against trolls......
  32. I like that shot,Mike. Simple, nice study,subtle color. And the aspect ratio is irrelevant to the value. Squares work for me and I think in square terms so who cares. It must be hard wired in us I guess. I am now looking at ways to frame stuff afterwards via postprocessing with ovals and circles,really..even an arguable troll post or a lame post can be transmogrified into something of value I believe.
  33. I think that the original question is a good one, whether posted in jest or not.

    There's been a lot of discussion over the years about the appropriate shape for pictures. For quite some time, amateur photographers, and some professionals, allowed their photography to be constrained by the format of the paper on which they printed and/or the format of the negative produced by their camera.

    While I do not agree that any particular format is good or bad in itself, I think that we gain a lot from considering what shape we should use to frame a particular image.
  34. Thanks Andrew, .. i've got realy concerned about some of you that called me 'narrow, stupid, lame'. I just wanted to say i'm realy serious.. like it or not.. that was my question and take it as it is.. i do not force no one to answer.

    Interesting points of view though..
  35. Here's an idea, Mihnea. Take a negative you haven't looked at for a while, preferably years, and print the full frame as big as you reasonably can. Then take a pair of L-shaped pieces of paper or card and see how many pleasing crops you can make out of it. If you can't make any crops that work other than the full frame, then it suggests that you 'see' in that shape. Otherwise, you may get some pleasant surprises, even to the extent of discovering a 1:1 crop that you like. :)))
  36. Okay Minhea, I will post a little more seriously for you. The "anti-troll" type responses you
    got were, as far as I can see, because it just seems faintly ridiculous to come out and say
    you are against square photos and to say that a certain ratio exists for the perfect artwork.

    Most of us are most used to and most comfortable taking rectangles, and if we crop,
    cropping to a rectangle. This is, I would guess, is because we are used to the 35mm
    format, and also because 95% (+) of photos/paintings etc that exist are like this.

    You said that you think an "artistic composition" is more balanced in rectangular format -
    but the balance of a composition does not, I believe, have any real relation to the shape of
    the "canvas" (for want of a better word) but only to the elements within that canvas. So a
    circular, triangular, oblong or indeed rhomboid composition can be perfectly balanced. I
    do, however, believe that it is easier to produce a balanced composition - or maybe a
    more attractive composition - with the formats you mention though I am not sure why, if
    it is indeed anything more than simply that we are more familiar with the rectangle.
    Perhaps if I were an art theory major I could explain this - certainly I would be able to
    quote hundreds (well...) of examples of artists who have used the square, and perhaps talk
    about somethig like dynamic tension or whatever inherent in the shape. But I am not.

    What I could do is point you to photographers who use the square format to great effect -
    the first that springs to mind is Michael Kenna [link] :

    Another I discovered recently is Derry Brown [link - his portraits are particulary good I
    think] :

    Cecil Beaton also used it a lot - if you type his name into Google Images, you get a load of
    them - from Monroe to Twiggy.

    The list could potentially be very long indeed.

    Why they used it, I imagine, would be that they had cameras that were 6x6 format, so they
    composed to that format. However, the fact that many people find the square difficult and
    so crop their 6x6 down to a rectangle is illustrated by the sales pitch for the Koni Omega
    6x7 camera way back when [late '70s/early '80s?]- they said that the 6x7 format was
    closer to the norm of 8x10 paper than 6x6, so that you could use more paper and crop
    less of your picture......

    But many people still enjoy struggling with the square.

    I used a Canon A1 for many many years and was beginning to think myself a good
    photographer. Then a couple of years ago I treated myself to a Hasselblad. I always prided
    myself on rarely cropping my pictures, and so I have been attempting to compose into a
    square somce then. It is doubtless very difficult after near 20 years of familiarity with
    35mm, BUT I believe I have succeeded with several photos and now perhaps have even
    developed a slight preference for good square photos. Perhaps this is because it is a shape
    I am trying to learn, perhaps it is just becase they are rarer ? [I only have one on my Pnet
    page, and its a dark scan but I can post one here if you like....]

    I had a quick look at your webpage, and there was one image that you seem to not be
    entirely happy with, because you present it as two different crops - both rectangular, one
    portrait one landscape. I have taken the liberty of imposing a square on it - more for
    playfulness than to suggest any improvement, and also to suggest perhaps that a square
    can work.

    As a brief aside, I think that the way Pico's innoccuos, friendly and indeed quite amusing
    post was recieved earlier was really bad. I don't care what has happened in other threads -
    his posts here were absolutely fine and I to harrass someone like that is playground


  37. I find it interesting that painters, who often had to compose their work to suit the needs of their customers, had and have an armoury of different compositional tools available to fit any shape.

    I wonder, if we were painters, would we be having this conversation? I believe that the answer must be yes, because any visual representation, it seems to me, must have a certain quality of 'pattern' to be pleasing to the viewer and the choice of the appropriate pattern seems to me to be of prime importance in the composition.

    That's why I think Mihnea's question a particularly stimulating one.

    Robert: a very interesting and informative reply but may I ask, without in any way wishing to appear judgemental, do you not believe that actions have consequences?

    I cannot condone what Jimmy wrote but, it seems to me, that if a certain amount of heat was generated elsewhere, it is only to be expected that it might be carried over. It would be nice to think that the ripples would now die away and, as a newcomer, I hope this will be the case.
  38. andrew - the pathetic spat has been going on for so long now I no longer know who started
    it, or fanned the flames. But why bring it up again from a 3rd party ? If someone is not being
    offensive, what's the point ? This forum isn't for one or two people to decide they want to
    hound someone out of it because of a disagreement elsewhere, surely ? robert
  39. Robert, just to set the record straight. I've already apologised for my behaviour on that other thread and I'm not proud of it, either. I didn't set out to hound Pico off the forum but I think it only fair to add, in my own defence, that it was him that started the whole thing and him that wouldn't let it go. That doesn't excuse me in any way but I think it goes some way to explaining what happened.
  40. HP - I might send you an email off forum about this, because this thread, which I thought
    was beginning to get interesting, now seems in danger of turning into a dissection of an
    argument. I believe it started from a stupid misunderstanding and that neither of you would
    let it go. Maybe we should set up a forum to discuss it ?

    So, anyway - square pictures anyone ?
  41. Why aren't these OT personal posts deleted by the moderator?
  42. Quite right, Carl, I'm all for a little more moderator input but they seem to be on holiday at the moment. To get back on topic, Mihnea would appear to be in good company with his dislike of the square. I had the opportunity of wandering around the National Portrait Gallery a few months ago and the thing that struck me was how the few square compositions stood out from the majority of oblong ones. Mind you, I didn't have time to look at everything and there could have been a room full of square paintings that I missed but I did come away with the impression that the (roughly) 4:3 ratio was the favourite with portrait painters for a very long time. Perhaps it just seems more natural for most compositions in some vague, indefinable manner or perhaps there's a more fundamental reason for the bias.
  43. hp - but did you like the square ones, or did they stand out because they were different ?
  44. National Portrait Gallery? Why yes, I seem to recall a room with the sign "Square Paintings." Hey, if canvas came in rolls,then the seller always cut it on the bias with a little extra,nue? "So,for you,Vincent,take a little longer piece, its the end of the roll,go ahead,you can pay me later." Vince would always fill the available canvas,being a frugal Dutchman. Just joshing away, in the spirit of well, meine kinder,and- while the moderators are away,-the kids will meditate on formats and be nice.
  45. I think we all agree that the shape of the canvas has a critical importance for the final result.
    At any square picture I look, I imagine in my head how would it look in wide-view. Probably you're right.. i may have a subjective opinion, that's why I asked this question in the first place, to confrunt with your opinions.
  46. "Purists" beware - Any imposition of a print shape other than round is artificial to photography. Round, or near-round is the photographic image shape. It has been convenient for centuries to make rectangular/square frames. So what?

    If you want to argue about the Golden Mean, then do that. But the photographic image has no right angles. It's all made-up.
  47. "I think we all agree that the shape of the canvas has a critical importance for the final result." I don't agree. But we agree that it is not critical to agree. Fin.
  48. Furthermore, the shape of an image is culturally bound. Consider a culture in which the veritical part of the frame is presumed to be part of an undenined longer scroll.

    Is it becoming clear yet that if you wish to make the shape of your image important, that you do it in the picture, and reinforce that statement with a series to evince the same?
  49. About the photo being round - I believe this is one of the reasons Hasselblad give for
    square format - they use up more of the "actual" image. I think many people perhaps look
    at the square as a rectangle that has been cropped at either end. I look at it as being a
    rectangle that has had a bit added at the top and the bottom.....

    This is certainly quite noticeable if you use a wide angle for landscape work in square
    format. In 35mm the format natrurally crops out a lot of "unwanted" foreground for you.
    With the square you have to think very carefully about that foreground, and reassess
    exactly why it is often described as "unwanted". I kind of like it.

    I also find (have I said this already ?) that the square is far far less tolerant of non-aligned
    verticals, which I think often look very good in 35mm.
  50. Well, it used to be the case that landscape photographers went to a lot of trouble to 'frame' their pictures with branches, hedges or whatever. I once heard a story about a press photographer who, whenever he was sent to photograph a building or otherwise uninteresting scene, took along a branch which he would hold in front of the lens to provide such a frame. The story goes that, when he retired, his colleagues had the branch gold laminated. It seems to me that, whenever I've seen square format landscapes, this framing policy seems to have been very much in evidence.
  51. Another small point: while there are cultural biases and habits with regard to image viewing, there are certain built-in physiological characteristics that dominate how one 'scans' a scene; recent studies show that the field is rather like fat-waisted infinity sign (figure eight on its side), or a donut sqeezed in the center. Certainly this might be interesting only to the esoteric scholarly discussions of Space-in-Art.

    To date we have oval images oriented vertically (quite common in early work) and more recently the prints of Henry P. Bosse.
  52. HP - god does that mean i now have to pack a branch along with me......?!
  53. apologies for massive size of that - still not used to PS - it was supposed to be pretty small. (Moderator please delete large image if you can be bothered)
  54. -- So, THIS is the end.

    I'm off the 'net right now.--

    still here still talking rubbish. old hp said sorry nothing like that from pico. dont have it in him i guess. a picture is a picture just like the rear end of a cow is the rear end of a cow. all that matters is it looks right to you.
  55. "Well, it used to be the case that landscape photographers went to a lot of trouble to 'frame' their pictures with branches, hedges or whatever."

    It is called Natural Framing, and an interesting point on the shape of the photograph - it turns the interior 'frame' into an irregular shape. Funny it took this long to come up. :)

    Speaking of funny... There was old vet photog hired as an occasional weekend stringer. He was asked to cover a funeral on a Saturday, but he got there early and fell asleep in his car. Not to be outdone by reality, he went into his big box of photos and grabbed an old one taken at the same location. A newspaper ran it. Imagine the surprise (and letters) when subjects of the photographs were discovered to have been deceased for ten years.
  56. Jimmy Smith: I suggest politely that you shut up and keep well out of this or I will report you
    to the moderators myself for being needlessly inflammatory. Get back to the subject and stay
    in your box.
  57. worse than hating one or the other is to ONLY crop with one or the other. I think the image dictates what the crop will be shaped like. I have images cropped as squares and all kinds of variations of rectangles---sorry, no triangles....
  58. Yes, limiting yourself to one shape or banning a single shape from your 'armoury' is a little like being a carpenter who only uses an axe or refuses to use a screwdriver. Flexibility seems to be the key to success for most photographers. A few years ago I did a panorama made up of several prints. When I put them together they naturally formed a shape like a very low pitched roof. I thought of trimming the whole to a conventional 'letterbox' shape but in the end decided to leave it as it was. It seems to work very well and a number of people who don't usually notice photographs have commented favourably on it.
  59. 1:1 is hard but album covers are 1:1 and if cropped well 1:1 makes wonderful identity portraits. I don't agree with you. Although I am not very friendly with the format, nor in photography neither in design I still think its a good one. The reason for your suspicion is because the asymmetric is more natural to the eye.

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