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Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria

Taking up Juha’s recommendation on yesterday’s post, here is squareness presented in square format. You find assembled a good deal of the necessary ingredients for solid square enjoyment: freshly brushed tar, neatly trimmed bushes in cast-concrete pots, a high and opaque fence and last but not least the silver Benz…

Using the square format without a square viewfinder is possible, at least with non-moving subjects, and so I continue to use my familiar DSLR. Skimming the web for information about alternative cameras, I had to learn that 6:6 is superior to 1:1, at least it has to be, otherwise Olympus wouldn’t denote the square format as 6:6 in their data sheets – but well, maybe this is just another twist in their (former) management’s attempt to hide facts. Who knows?

The new Sony A77 however does offer neither 6:6 nor 1:1 aspect ratios, a fact that I can’t understand, as it would have been extremely simple to implement with an exclusive electronic viewfinder. Without that, the camera looses quite some attractivity for me, additionally to the 24 MP image size that I do not need yet and that only would slow down my workflow and flood my harddisks.


    1. Paul, if it only would a) show the square format and b) reduce the raw size accordingly. Shouldn’t be impossible.
      But honestly: 16MPix total size would be more than plenty, still giving 12MPix square resolution, all with less noise and more adequate to today’s lenses resolution. THAT I would probably buy.

  1. 6:6 v 1:1, that’s funny! I suppose that it either shows that an old school photographer wrote the words (probably not), or it shows the photographers that Olympus is trying to attract (more likely). Whichever is the case, it sounds bigger and better. Seriously though, I keep my cropping to traditional aspect ratios, all of which are named in Lightroom as 5×4, 6×9, 6×7 etc and not reduced to their lowest common denominators. I must be an old school photographer!

    1. Colin, yes, old school knows about those formats, relaying to real material measurements. But the aspect ratios of 16:9 or 3:2 or 4:3 are mentioned by Olympus, and here 6:6 sticks out. Guess you’re right about the bragging factor…

  2. I don’t know what it is about this photograph, but when I went for a walk this afternoon I continued to think about it.

    I think it is a sign of a good photograph that it makes you think … but when making such a photograph I suspect it is often better not to think too much.

    What appeals here is the contrast between the subject and the photograph itself. The subject is squareness, or “ordered reality” (can one say so in English?), but the photograph itself feels intuitive, spontaneous.

    I like the bits of litter on the ground (fallen leaves?) and the handle (?) sticking out of the top part of the photograph, from the perfect spot. These complete the photograph.

    I have a feeling that the people who make such environments are unable to make such photographs. (But maybe I’m being too rude here?)

    1. Juha, I certainly get into a flow state when photographing, I remember that some years ago I even forgot breathing sometimes. But for images like the “square” ones, also the mindset has to be tuned in, which is maybe the most difficult part, and then the seeing works automatically.

      Your assumption that there is probably a sharp distinction between living “square” and percieving squareness I would not characterize as rude. Admittedly at least I have also fractions of the other side. And then I have learned meanwhile that personal preferences as well as perception is influenced by so many factors, and especially by upbringing and socialisation, that humans have formed a very colorful zoo. As long as the premiss about freedom would be accepted – namely that my freedom ends where it starts to harm yours and vice versa – I could live with that zoo 😉

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