Why Do All Pictures Have to be Square?


noddywithoutbigears

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 18:30
It's Sunday and the weather is grey and dull, so I sat back and browsed various photo gallery's and got to wondering why do we have to have square pictures, now I know there will a host technical reasons as to why but I just thought would'nt it be great if you could have any shape we wanted? It just seems that we accept that pictures should be square, ah well to much time on my hands again.
A poor life this, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare. W.H Davies

ChrisA

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 18:47
noddywithoutbigears wrote:
It just seems that we accept that pictures should be square, ah well too much time on my hands again.

Funny you should say this. I've been wanting an excuse to find the courage to post a certain picture for a long time...

I was in Federation Square, in Melbourne, on a rather rainy afternoon. The lens on the camera was the 18-55 Mk 1, and I couldn't get any wider, or any further away. So I turned the camera at an angle to get everything in on the diagonal, and then when I got home, messed around a bit with backgrounds until I ended up with this:




The original is here.

What do you reckon?

Edit: be as brutal as you like, people. I can't work out whether I like it or not, so I'm not that bothered whether you like it, or tear it to shreds. I realise it's no PaulyRichard
.
Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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Last Edited by ChrisA on 11/10/2009 - 18:59

Malo1961

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 18:47
What kind of shapes are you looking for, besides Portrait, Landscape, Square and Panoramic formats in which a scene is captured and viewed/presented.

(another one with some time to spare)
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

Oggy

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 20:23
Presumably, you mean rectangular rather than square?

johnriley

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 20:42
Your pictures can be any shape you like!
Best regards, John

Malo1961

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 21:02
johnriley wrote:
Your pictures can be any shape you like!

Yeah.....wet, curled corners, torn up, bleached or faded. ( I know, you didn't say; In any shape)

But the fact remains, humans are used to look at pictures/paintings/drawings etc..... framed in a rectangular way.
It has to do with compositional rules and that sort of decisions the artist made.
You can add a vignette, a half circle or even a keyhole effect to a picture. It....as a end result would still be framed in some sort of rectangular frame.
At least....that is the general perception. I don't have anything against: Breaking/bending "the rules"...but TBH, I haven't seen any thing else except rectangular shaped frames. I know of the round and oval shaped frames in the past, but no gallery or self respecting photographer is using them as a part of their presentation. Still......No reason to stop anybody from experimenting.
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.

George Lazarette

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 21:22
ChrisA wrote:

What do you reckon?

I reckon it demonstrates why most pictures are square (or rather, rectangular).

Portraits were often oval in shape in Victorian times.

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

noddywithoutbigears

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 21:30
Sorry I've not been clear, it's the border why can't they be say round, triangular, star shaped etc, we just accept that pics are presented in square/rectangular format, I know we can present our image within the frame in any shape/form just as Chris has presented (which I do like Chris) but it's still framed square/rectangular. I think say a circular frame would present a more dynamic image, providing the picture is OK of course. But as Malo suggests we don't accept pictures in any other shaped format because we assume that this is the norm. Ah as my mother used to say "Devil makes work for idle hands".
A poor life this, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare. W.H Davies

greyhoundman

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 21:54
I was just at a gallery showing of David Fitzsimmons work. He is one of only 5 north american Sigma pros. He uses round frames for almost all his 4.5mm fisheye shots.
http://www.enaturalist.org/component/option,com_jevents/Itemid,19/catids,77%7C79...

They really work well.
http://swainphotography.smugmug.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/greyhoundman/
Last Edited by greyhoundman on 11/10/2009 - 22:06

misiek_knm

Link Posted 11/10/2009 - 22:31
ChrisA wrote:
noddywithoutbigears wrote:
It just seems that we accept that pictures should be square, ah well too much time on my hands again.

Funny you should say this. I've been wanting an excuse to find the courage to post a certain picture for a long time...

I was in Federation Square, in Melbourne, on a rather rainy afternoon. The lens on the camera was the 18-55 Mk 1, and I couldn't get any wider, or any further away. So I turned the camera at an angle to get everything in on the diagonal, and then when I got home, messed around a bit with backgrounds until I ended up with this:


.. cut here...

Now it's funny you've posted that picture When I was in grammar school (years ago) and used my old Zenit I quite often took pictures in that way - diagonally framed (originally the reason was similar to that of yours - and I just had one prime kit lens), but then I had some fun watching my schoolmates trying to figuring out the way to look at my pictures. So I still have some collection of B&W diagonal pictures
Kind regards,
Michal R. Hoffmann
K20D, DA 16-45mm, A 50mm F/1:1.4, DA 55-300mm; flash Pentax AF240Z

Smeggypants

Link Posted 12/10/2009 - 05:53
ChrisA wrote:
noddywithoutbigears wrote:
It just seems that we accept that pictures should be square, ah well too much time on my hands again.

Funny you should say this. I've been wanting an excuse to find the courage to post a certain picture for a long time...

I was in Federation Square, in Melbourne, on a rather rainy afternoon. The lens on the camera was the 18-55 Mk 1, and I couldn't get any wider, or any further away. So I turned the camera at an angle to get everything in on the diagonal, and then when I got home, messed around a bit with backgrounds until I ended up with this:



The original is here.

What do you reckon?

Edit: be as brutal as you like, people. I can't work out whether I like it or not, so I'm not that bothered whether you like it, or tear it to shreds. I realise it's no PaulyRichard

I've never been afraid to angle the camera to take a shot. It doesn't always have to be displayed to flatten the horizon either. You're original actually looks better IMO
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

grahamwalton

Link Posted 12/10/2009 - 12:21
I suppose that most photos are rectangular through custom and practice, and standardisation.
Photographic Society Competitions and Exhibitions usually state 50cm x 40cm mounts. However, there is absolutely nothing to stop the mount aperture being any shape you can cut. In fact an unusual shaped aperture could be used creatively and add to the picture.
I notice that Mount Cutters for oval and circular mounts are still commonly available at mount suppliers.
If we look at Art Galleries, the vast majority of ancient paintings are rectangular. So we must blame our arty ancestors for establishing the history of rectangular mounts, which have become the normally accepted display method.
Friendly Regards
Graham

PeteL

Link Posted 12/10/2009 - 20:07
I used mount some of my transparencies in oval slide mounts, Gepe made a range of different shapes, The oval was very flattering to portraits.

Regards - Pete.
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