One student presented a moody, grainy image of sprinkler droplets whirling through the sky above blades of grass. “They look like they’re disrupting the environment—even the paper itself,” a young man in an orange sweatshirt said. “I think your images have a lot of phenomenological availability, and I am really in admiration.”Here's an article on the square composition in photography. Excerpt:
The next picture—a shot of the sea with a landmass in the background, taken from the window of an airplane—was received with less enthusiasm. People accused the photographer, a young man with dirty, bleached hair wearing a sweatshirt that said “Violent Femme,” of following the mores of Instagram.
Another student, defending him, asked, “Wait, does every square now mean Instagram?”
“It shouldn’t, it shouldn’t,” Opie told them, shaking her head emphatically. “The square came before Instagram—it’s called Hasselblad!” (In her own work, Opie eschewed the square for years, to avoid invoking Robert Mapplethorpe, her predecessor in exalting erotic deviance through photography.)
I have been quite fascinated with the square-format in street photography for a while... There was something quite sexy about the 6×6 format– the way that it created perfect balance in the frame, the simplicity, as well as the novelty.This is a problem I've never thought about. I always avoid the square format, even though back in my painting days, I liked 3'x3' canvases. I never became enamored of Hasselblads or Instagram and hadn't even noticed these used square formats. Maybe I'll set my camera to the square format and see what happens. Other than that it would make it easier to do a closeup of something round, like a flower, I would think that the same instinct for composition would cause me to use whatever space is available within the frame. But that wouldn't take into account the effect on the viewer, and apparently squares these days import a lot of static from the world of Instagram.
Of course as Instagram has become insanely popular– the square-format just looks like an “Instagram shot.” I have heard of Instagram as “ruining” the 6×6 format (medium-format film)....