Shooting square: a lunchtime experiment…

It was just one of those afternoons where you look out the window and notice that rare, special thing… a drop of sunshine – I knew that on my lunch break I would have to take my trusty X-T1 with me for a stroll.

After admiring X-Photographer Doug Chinnery’s square format images, I thought it would be nice to just have-a-go! And as I’d never shot square format before, I knew I’d enjoy the challenge. So I set my camera to ratio 1:1 and then JPG & RAW (just in case). From that, I took a 2 minute drive to my local marina from the office here at Fuji HQ.

Once I was parked and on foot, I started shooting straight away whilst trying to get my mind into ‘square framing mode’ assuming there is such a thing! The first image I took ( that I liked 😉 ) was of a lock, I loved how symmetry immediately came into my mind when I put my eye to the viewfinder.

X-T1 – f/5.6 – 1/140 – ISO200 – XF35mm

Here’s an example of me trying to get good framing in square format. I focused my attention to the winding path ahead and was deciding where I thought the path should cut off in my image.

X-T1 – f/5.6 – 1/300 – ISO200 – XF35mm

When I took this shot below, I was again thinking about symmetry, trying to match the lines of the tree to hit the top left and bottom right hand corners of the frame.

X-T1 – f/5.6 – 1/60 – ISO200 – XF35mm

This shot wasn’t a particularly amazing one, but it did contain what I was aiming for – a triangular composition. Maybe you can see it?..

X-T1 – f/2.8 – 1/280 – ISO200 – XF35mm

I was walking along the waters edge when I saw this tiny little puddle with what looked like a mini diving board over the top of it. All it needed was tadpole or small insect having a swim to finish this image off nicely.

X-T1 – f/2.8 – 1/1000 – ISO200 – XF35mm

This one was definitely my favourite shot of the afternoon, it was this little mound of mud and grass that to me at the right angle looked just like a small island – I’m thinking Cast Away..

X-T1 – f/2.8 – 1/1100 – ISO200 – XF35mm

My final image was taken on the way back to the car. I came across I lovely little patch of daisys and using the tilting screen I could get right down low without getting my knees dirty – which is always a bonus!

X-T1 – f/2 – 1/4000 – ISO200 – XF35mm

I had a great time shooting in this 1:1 format and found that for some of my close up work it would actually be really nice to continue using it. I loved working the symmetry into my images and corner to corner lines too. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go – you may just have a blast like I did!

Until then..

Happy snapping!



Author: Dale Young

Dale works at Fujifilm UK HQ in the marketing department. He is an amatuer photographer & musician that loves to be creative and expand his own skills. With all that he learns he tries to give back to the creative community.

17 thoughts on “Shooting square: a lunchtime experiment…”

  1. Brilliant! I’m going through a square-crop phase at the moment too, and am finding it particularly rewarding for black & white botanical stuff. Funny how such a simple thing, or a small adjustment to your normal way of doing things, can spark new ideas and motivation!

    Thanks for sharing.


    1. Excellent and thanks for your comment 🙂 Yeah it is amazing just how simple a change it is in the camera settings but how differently you look at your shots. I found that I liked to get the symmetry and texture more involved in the images. Happy snapping! Dale

  2. Intriguing to see you shooting square as I normally do that in processing. Just checked my XE-2 Menu and don’t seem to havethat option, so assume XT-1 only?

    There’s some square stuff on my photo blog and website – mostly now Fuji XE-2 shots – if you want to have a look. Traded in my intro Nikon DSLR for the Fuji and am well impressed at the results from sensor / glass.

    Blog –
    Website –

    1. Hi, you have some beautiful photos! You can select it in-camera – simply turn the camera on, press the menu/ok button and then select ‘image size’. From that pick L 1:1 to shoot square. 🙂 Have fun! Dale

      1. Thanks very much. Ah. OK, just tried and that and realised I couldn’t select it as I am shooting in RAW. Now know how to do it, ta.

  3. Hi Dale, please tell me the maximum output size of the photos in case of printing them on Posters. I would just like to know how large you can go. My personal idea was to take square b&w photos. So I looked at the Sony A7R II but you cannot adjust it to 1:1 format. Otherwise the resulting megapixels would have been ideal, even if the camera is not inspiring…

    1. Hi Peter, there is one guide for print sizes vs resolution:
      ‘Check the resolution and divide the pixel x pixel count by 300’
      Therefore, on a 24MP sensor 1:1 image has a resolution of 4000 x 4000, the largest recommended print size would be 13.3″x13.3″ (in reality 12″x12″ or 14″x14″).

      A 16MP sensor 1:1 image has a resolution of 3264 x 3264 giving a recommended print size of 10.9″ x 10.9″ ( in reality either 10″x10″ or 12″x12″)

      This is a guide as image quality is a subjective thing and certain images can look better or worse depending on the content and I have seen great prints from our cameras at 24″x36″ on the full sensor resolution without a dramatic loss of quality as long as the viewing distance is reasonable. And at The Photography Show last year we had images printed at 3 by 2 metres and they looked fab.

      Hope this helps! 🙂