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shooting square or 16:9?

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dCap View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: shooting square or 16:9?
    Posted: 13 June 2020 at 18:10
As someone who started photography in the late 1980s and used 35mm film (3:2) with the addition of a fair few rolls on Mamiya C220 (1:1) and then some RB67 (6:7). In volume terms most of my shots were framed to the 3:2 format on 35mm (for cost reasons back then).

I moved to m43 (4:3) about a decade ago and really like the shape. I prefer it to 3:2. I do only compose/shoot in landscape way up though.

I'm what should be described as a 'critical framer'. A now natural part of my composition is to shoot to the frame shape I have. So, my cropping is very minimal, usually just to nudge a 1' wonky horizon or a tiny crop of an edge if I've botched something.

Q - does anyone shoot to a shape other than 3:2 on a regular basis? On a long term basis? Do any of the video shooters frame with the intention of producing 18:9 or 21:9?

I'm looking to start a 92-day mini-365 on 01-July as a trial run for a possible 365 next year. But also to get to grips with a new camera: Sony RX100 IV. I'll be testing it out 3:2 (native) and 4:3 and 16:9 and 1:1 when it arrives next week. But I'm keen to settle on a shape for the project.

I find framing 16:9 easier than square (1:1). But done well I do like the look of a square image and it's not something I've done for any decent length of time. I think I'm up for the challenge.

The alternative is that I just force myself to remember what 3:2 framing is like ... or freely use 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, and 1:1 as I like. But I'm wanting to make a new website for the shots and that is a lot simpler and better looking with just one shape throughout.

Square is also the one format that fits equally well (or badly) to both landscape (computer) and portrait (phone) web viewing. That is part of the idea behind the 1:1 challenge.
Sony RX100 IV Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 1,8-2,8/8,8-25,7 [ 24-70mm ]
 



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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2020 at 23:39
I sometimes use 16:9, I habitually crop wide angle shots even more extreme, and I frequently use the ultra wides vertically with the intent of cropping them roughly square. I wish the Sony cameras had a square option on them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2020 at 00:14
That is easy, it is called a perfect square for a reason.

TBH, I do not understand why people prefer 4x3 over 3x2 - I can understand 16x9, but not 4x3 - if you go that route, go all the way to the perfect square. And 1x1 is a nice classic (Hasselblad, TLR) one and as you're not used to it, a nice challenge.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2020 at 00:44
I started a discussion about a couple of years or so back about aspect ratios and it was quite related to this thread and it was a good discussion.
Can't find it using the site's search tool or Google.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2020 at 09:23
I crop to whatever ratio the photo/composition needs.

In lightroom I first try a few standard ratios and often end up with 5x7. I usually don't find 4x3 the right crop ratio for my photo's. I also shoot a M43 camera which natively is 4x3 and I usualy elongate those a bit to 5x7 or 2x3.

Other favourites are 1x1 "the perfect square" and 16x9 or even wider "crop-o-ramas".

But if none of the standard ratio's work the lock goes off and I put the borders wherever it makes sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2020 at 09:37
Originally posted by skm.sa100 skm.sa100 wrote:

I started a discussion about a couple of years or so back about aspect ratios and it was quite related to this thread and it was a good discussion.
Can't find it using the site's search tool or Google.
I think you are looking for this threat from 2015. I think I am kinder to 16x9 then I was back then.
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dCap View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2020 at 12:28
Perhaps my pending use of my current mixed formats ... 4:3 (Pan GX9) and 3:2 (RX100 IV) is prompting this as well.

If I was leaving m43, which I don't think I am, then I could just re-think back to 3:2. I did afterall shoot 3:2 for 18 years in film and also from 2005 until I started playing m43. I remember a brief period of re-thinking but adapted to the new shape.

In 30-something years of shooting film then digital, I've always composed to the format in my viewfinder. Making a 32.56 x 29.29 crop or whatever random shape fits the composition is simple in digital and on screen, so I realised there doesn't need to be a defined shape. I just need to compose to the boundaries of my viewfinder/LCD.

Problem with m43 (and 1") is that they are already small and cropping out is getting even smaller. My daily phone snaps I send to mum from my walks are mostly 16:9 and some 18:9 from the 4:3 sensor but they are mostly coastal views. Not being a landscaper I find composing 16:9 a lot easier there. But if I'm taking a snap for me of a 'thing' I find then I switch the phone to 4:3 (it does not do square!).

I'm rubbish at landscapes though ... so maybe that is my excuse for not shooting them with my actual camera?! Or maybe I need to amend this and learn to shoot them?

The blad SQ was used back in the days of print magazines. And they would compose fashion with dead space to the sides or top and not worry about the impossible holding the camera on the side (with a top down viewfinder!). But 5:4 (10:8) was the common 'print' format then too. And of course there were some super square portaits - and I love them.

FourThirds could have launched as FiveFourths but that is difficult to say!

I'll admit I am as tempted to convert to all 16:9 as I am 1:1. 16:9 is a better fit for a website (on a laptop/desktop monitor) but awful for a website viewed on a phone (or The Gram!). That partly factors in. I was considering a camera with a C1 and C2 place on a dial to have 16:9 and 1:1 dialed in so I could shoot both and flip for the scene quickly. Views at 16:9. Details 1:1. Two projects really.

Composing square rather than a dive into the archives and seeing which 3:2 and 4:3 also look 'okay' square is different. My trial month (Jan 2020) showed me it was quite a challenge and I walked away from a few shots that didn't fit the square rather than revert to 3:2 (a fuji month). My challenge was to compose square or not take the shot. It was a lot harder than I expected (especially with a prime).

I'm trying to think through to an end portfolio and see if forcing 1:1 changes my photography. While a lot of us just 'know' framing and might not consiously set-up a shot with the rule of thirds it is a lot less pleasing on a square shape. Almost doesn't work. So, quite a challenge to compose to. And can create a quite different look.

This even bothered me back in the film days when a 5x7" print would come back from the lab (from my 3:2 negative). I stuck to 6x4" prints even then. And 10x8 messed with my head. I got a few 12x8 prints and hated them. I switched to slide to stop me printing.

Thanks for the links to those two threads. Indeed, I've found 4:3 shape to be clever in terms of adapting to SQ and 16:9 ... but being small to start off with and I'm adding an even smaller 1" 3:2 kinda limits what I'll throw away.

16:9 crop is more efficient from a 3:2 sensor
SQ is more efficient from 4:3
(meaning throwing away fewer pixels)
so perhaps my RX100 will be my 16:9 camera?

Might do a week at 16:9 and another at 1:1 before I start my July project. Want to settle on a format before then. Pretty sure the RX100 will deliver 16:9 jpgs with 3:2 raws (like most cameras do). There is one Canon dSLR that gives you raws the shape you asked for (6DII I think?).
Sony RX100 IV Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 1,8-2,8/8,8-25,7 [ 24-70mm ]
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maxxumator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2020 at 13:14
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:

I crop to whatever ratio the photo/composition needs.

Totally agree. First starting with 3:2 for horizontal or 3:4 for vertical I very often finish with free defined, unrounded values.

During last decades I have noticed myself trending more to longer, slimmer framing. Of course, square rules anywhere when it's in place.

I may also reveal some tiny but effective secret - to leave as less details as possible just at the border of the frame. Such thoroughness gets always rewarded.    
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2020 at 13:16
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:

I crop to whatever ratio the photo/composition needs.


+1.
I'm a purely digital photographer. I so rarely make prints that I never have to think about what it looks like on paper. That frees me up from any kind of predefined aspect ratios.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2020 at 13:17
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

Originally posted by skm.sa100 skm.sa100 wrote:

I started a discussion about a couple of years or so back about aspect ratios and it was quite related to this thread and it was a good discussion.
Can't find it using the site's search tool or Google.
I think you are looking for this threat from 2015. I think I am kinder to 16x9 then I was back then.


Yes, thank you.
More Dyxumer, less photographer.
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