On The Square - With Fuji and Hasselblad
I watched an old Hasselblad go out today with a new shooter and reflected that he was very lucky. In my day you had to have serious money to buy a 500C/M to take square pictures and impress girls.. Nowadays the 500C/M has become passe and you need a gold Lunar with diamond shutter release button to achieve the same effect - and I'm not even certain the pictures are square.
Of course if you can afford to leave the girls out of the equation, you can get square pictures with one of the Fuji X series cameras. You just pop into the menu and order it to do your bidding. Or you go to the crop tool in whatever image editing program you use and ask for 5 x 5 or 1 to 1. This is fine but if you initially shot in 2:3 you needed to mentally compose for the square at the time you shot. I suppose the days of putting a couple of strips of black graphic line tape on the viewfinder or LCD screen are long gone - too simple and practical...
However you arrive at the composition and whatever you think of the aesthetics of a square format, you cannot deny that it has one advantage - you never have to try to tilt your camera to change the look - what you see you get. If you are using a fixed flash you never have to have a flipping bracket.
And where do you use the images? CD sleeves are the best thing I can think of - the day of the vinyl record album having been finished long ago. There are some on-lone publishers that do rather good self-composed books at good prices and they also do a good square publication. I tried one of these last year and was charmed by how easy it was once I discovered pictures in my collection that could be presented logically as a square.