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Andrew Meilstrup
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I personally don't find a lot of resonance with a square composition. I'll crop in post to a square if I find that it makes a stronger image, but I just don't quite see that way. I do prefer 3:2 for landscapes. Always have. But at the same time, I recognize it as a strange contrivance that Oskar Barnack is responsible for—he wanted to use Edison 35mm film for his landscape camera; the standard format on that film was 4 sprockets, which produced a 4:3 image. This small format didn't hold up well to enlargement for still content with the film emulsions of the time. Solution? Double from 4 sprockets to 8. Interestingly, the Olympus Pen F was half-frame, which is just Oskar Barnack's 8 sprockets reduced to 4, and that same format is to this day the standard usage of 35mm film in cinematography. I find that 3:2 really doesn't work that well for printing. And I cannot abide these wide formats for vertical shots. Whenever I shoot a vertical shot, I have to switch the camera back to 4:3. The world might be long and skinny in a horizontal dimension, but not so vertically. At least the way I see it. And you know what? I find 4:3 to be a good compromise. And if I know i'm shooting for print, I shoot 4:3. It just works better for printing. And aside from that, I can make great shots in 4:3. Most of my great shots are 4:3, in fact (though I really attribute that to how long I was shooting on my E-520) But then, I usually find that I compose for the frame—regardless of what the frame is—rather than cropping later on. Whether my camera is 16:9 or 3:2 or 4:3, I'll find the best composition. One day I'll try just shooting squares, and seeing what that gets me. Lord knows the GH2 makes it easy.
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Jan 29, 2012