INSTAGRAM has popularised the use of square-shaped photos. These were popular during the days of analogue photography.

Analogue 6x6 Medium format cameras such as Hasselblad 500C and Rolleiflex SL66 were among the popular models before the arrival of digital cameras. But once the digital era arrived, square-shaped photos could be made easily by setting the aspect ratio to 1:1 in the camera menu or cropping the image during post-processing.

Composing in square 1:1 aspect ratio can be challenging if you are not used to it. Here are a few tips on composing square photos.


1. RULE OF THREE: Three subjects look nice in a square photo. Three subjects balance the photo. In this particular photo, which I took during Thaipusam, I have included three devotees as the main subjects.


2. PLACING SUBJECT IN CENTRE: Since all four sides have the same length, placing your subject in the centre frames the subject perfectly.


3. SYMMETRICALLY-PLACED SUBJECTS: This works best with square. In this particular photo, banana leaf dishes form an almost perfect symmetry.


4. BOX WITHIN BOX: You can box your subject within another box in the photo. In this particular photo this man was sitting in an almost square frame and a square format fits nicely.


5. SUBJECT AT THE EDGE: In this photo, placing the subject at the bottom edge creates negative space in the photo. The negative space improves the mood of the photo.

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