HELLO DEAR SQUARE FRIENDS!
It may have come to your attention that it's Thursday today, which means that it's time for another blog. After her housecleaning efforts (hoovering evil rectangularists out of the carpet, sorting out submissions and putting the empty bottles on the balcony), we decided *weltengang
deserved a break and I'm doing a couple of Thursday blogs. My blogs are not as good as hers, but you may skip all the words and go for the pictures at once.
Ages ago I commented on a square half jokingly that it had 'deep inner squareness' and I've kept using the expression ever since.
Using squares as a basic shape for your photo or art has certain consequences or, if you put it differently, it opens new possibilities. A square is more than just a random outward shape. Choosing for the square shape can have an effect on its contents, like when an architect tries to make the inside design of a building conform to the outside.
Of course, you're totally free to disagree with me.
Or, for that matter, insist that it's nothing new to you.
In this blog I hope to give you new ideas and thoughts to explore, I'm not here to raise a finger to tell you what to do.
Anyone who's had a class in composition will likely remember the rule that it's best to keep the horizon or another important line in your composition away from the center. Mostly this is hung up on the so-called 'Rule of Thirds'. By this rule you're supposed to divide your composition in an imaginary game of "noughts and crosses", and take care that all the important lines or boundaries are on the horizontal and vertical lines running on 1/3 or 2/3 of your square or rectangle.
shows this in a rather drastic way:
In my opinion you don't have to count pixels and see if it's exactly on 33% or 66% - just as long your eyes tell you that it's on 1/3 and 2/3. And obviously, you can play with the idea - I'd like to see this picture by =ersi
as a noughts-and-crosses scheme that's gone a bit off, like an rock guitarist might hit a note and then pull up the string to make it screech and "create tension".
Playing with all this, I think we hit upon one source of inner squareness already. A square is more symmetrical and geometrical than a rectangle
- it's not just that the left side matches the right side, and the top the bottom, all
sides match each other.
If you start to play with the rule of thirds, you're repeating the symmetry with a number of squares inside the square, and the geometry gets even stronger. By contrast the whole idea gets rather diluted in a rectangle, where the noughts and crosses scheme is stretched out. I think this is a reason why many photographers choose the square to play with very geometrical compositions.
There's a good reason why the rectangular world sticks to the rules of thirds though, but I hope to give you a closer look at that next time. I will also tell you not much new when you say that squares can be split in halves, fourths and whatnot. And looking at the vast #SixbySix
gallery, there's of course much more to a good square than geometry - food for thought in the future. Meanwhile, in increasing degrees of deconstruction: