1:1 Square format

No; we have been asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful? Annie Dillard


Portraits and most flowers usually don’t work in 1:4 or 4:9.25 and I have always admired the old 2¼×2¼  formats shot on Hasselblads so I started experimenting with a straight forward square format. The great majority of the square format photographs here were envisioned as square before they were shot. Some were happy coincidences that seem to work better as squares.

In my portraits, I have been influenced by Richard Avedon, especially his In the American West series, not so much in the exposed angst  but in the straight forward way he poses his sitters. Still, my biggest influence was a  class I didn’t take. Years ago, I signed up for a class in Portrait Photography at  the Omega Institute. The course was cheap, but getting there was too dear – with airfare to New York and then driving to Rhinebeck  – and I never got to the class. But the sub line, A portrait is an artifact of a relationship, has transformed my portraits.

The square format works particularly well on reflections and I have used it for reflections on both glass and water. I usually print these on Red River Pearl Metallic paper to emphasize the reflective quality of the surface. I enjoy the surreal look of the reflections. 

On the other hand, my square flower pictures are almost entirely decorative. They work very well printed on canvas and I have printed them at 12″x12″ and 16″x16″.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *