Street Photography is so Square

I still use Instagram. I still use it for its originally-intended purpose — sharing pictures. It’s become a bit more “useful” over the years. Not a good thing, in my opinion.

I enjoy the square format, although I will sometimes post photos with various aspect ratios.

I don’t shoot for square. I let the subject dictate the shape of the frame. Another way to say what I’m doing: I pay a lot of attention to composition while looking through the (specifically-shaped) viewfinder. It pleases me when I don’t have to crop much at all. If I wanted to shoot for square, I suppose I’d need a camera with a square format.

My street photography has a different look compared to the photogs who “shoot from the hip” or get directly in people’s faces. I tend to negotiate a balance of sorts between the human form as a compositional element and capturing a human moment. I’m also not creating art — something I think many street photographers are trying to do. So, yeah, that statement is crying out for more thought and explanation. But it will have to wait for a later post.

Cropping is also discovering what else an image can be. Cropping an image to fit a specific format — e.g. square for Instagram — is something like writing poetry to fit a specific literary format — e.g. a sonnet. There’s much to be learned, and discovered, by working within parameters on purpose.

Sometimes street photography is square.

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