WEEK 48: B&W Square Format Photography – 2017 Trevor Carpenter PhotoChallenge

Without getting into too much technical detail, I think Aaron Chang pretty much sums it up. Thanks to Instagram, square format images live on well into the digital age. Although Instagram now allows you to use different formats and even add video, we’re going to focus on the square format photography.

L’apprentie / The apprentice – Estavayer-le-Lac (FR)

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Square formats are more pleasing to the eye as they eliminate a great deal of the eye movement, moving back and forth horizontally and vertically through your image. Centering your subject is one of my favorite attributes to square crops, a rule breaker in standard 3:2 rectangular images.

Vache Suisse / Swiss cow – Restaurent Le Soliat – Chemin La Bouronne – Creux-du-Van

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Lomography, medium format film cameras and even the good old fashion Polaroid cameras pushed our creativity to the limit within the confines of a square image. This is so embedded in our history that Polaroid’s fan base has always found a way to keep using their old cameras, Polaroid is now reintroducing the instant cameras and producing film for the more popular old models. Even if you’re too young to remember, you’ll soon be introduced to a brand new world of instant square image photography once again.

The rule of thirds and even the golden ratio for which we’ve learned to apply on rectangular images can still be applied to your square composition. The one difference is you can get in closer and look even better…


Les Prèalpes Fribourgeoise vue de l’église de Sorens / The Fibourg pre-alps from the church in Sorens Switzerland – (FR, CH)

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Personally I find a square format image to be the excellent medium for breaking the composition rules, no matter your shooting style. Give it a try, it doesn’t matter what you’re shooting…

Quai de pierres sur le Lac de Neuchâtel à Cheyres (FR)

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Whether you’re shooting portraits, landscapes, or anything else under the Sun, B&W square images can bring new life with some old-style eye-pleasing looks to your photography.

Here are a few resources :

  1. tips for square composition
  2. Simple Composing Tips for Square Shooters
  3. Square Format Photographs
  4. When to Shoot Black And White
  5. Do’s & Don’ts of Black and White Photography
  6. Why Choose Black And White Photography

To complete your challenge :

There are two basic elements to this week’s PhotoChallenge. You have to create a square image and that image needs to be in B&W.

Your subject is freestyle, you pick the subject and the technique to best fit your creative mind and apply it to this week’s requirements.

Do read the resources above to get a better perspective of shooting square formats and B&W

Feel free to use vignettes,and Instagram style filters and frames or even shoot this PhotoChallenge with your mobile device using Instagram.

If you have an Instagram account, feel free to share it with the rest of us. 🙂 If you don’t have one, this may be a good opportunity to get yourself seen on Instagram.

#HASHTAGS are becoming ever so important, not only in Instagram but on Twitter and even Facebook, Let’s get some #HASHTAGS in your description to better identify your image. Here’s a little resource for #HASHTAGS.

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge and #photochallenge2017
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2017 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

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About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.

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