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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!



17 comments 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.


    • 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. very nice pictures Dale, regards, peter

  3. Thanks for this post. I going to try this now.

  4. My vita has a square format. I usually do full screen but maybe I can try taking square pix. See if my readers would like that.

  5. V. Opoku

    Nice set of images Dale, I play about with squares from time to time.


  6. 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 –

    • 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

      • 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.

      • Just for info.. the option isn’t available on the original X100 (firmware v2.1).

  7. I am reminded of the old 6X6 cameras when I see these shots. Great to have the facility at time of shooting, even on my ‘humble’ X30.
    Regards, Pete

  8. 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…

    • 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! 🙂