There is something about a square format for photography and art that really appeals to me. I often work on a square canvas and can spend hours editing compositions. In fact I have a hard time going anywhere without looking at everything as a potential composition. This can be a bit of a challenge when driving but it’s just the way I think, I’m very visual. The more time I spend drawing, painting and making photographs the more I think about these details. I can’t stop looking.
All images Β© Karen McRae

36 thoughts on “Compositions

  1. I so understand this Karen as I am the same; there is a photo absolutely everywhere..
    Every day I drive alongside a river on my way to work. There is nowhere to stop the car ( it’s a very dangerous piece of road) and almost every day there is something along that stretch that I want to photograph… light on the water, ice, a pair of flying herons ( rare to see 2) today with a huge red sun behind them just peeking over the horizon ( I usually avoid sunset/sunrises as being a bit samey but would have made an exception for this one !)
    It drives me crazy!

  2. Normally photographer doesn’t talk about [composition] because it is the default of the photography. Unlike free drawing, photographer can’t [position] a subject with free will = just walking around and find the best [shooting position] —– otherwise photo become just a mess.
    This subconscious action to find the best, makes [the photography].
    and that was why on 60s, un-intentional photography became a fashion.
    (random or even unfocused photo)
    I’m a bit sentimental to the scape you captured.

  3. Yeah, I’m with you on this one. Photos are everywhere. I sometimes wish I could turn it off and just walk down the street. πŸ™‚

  4. The square image format is one that we don’t see as often as we probably should. I love these images; the monochrome suits the subjects, and fits nicely with the square format. Cheers!

  5. Karen, I love these shots (esp the third one. it could have been photographed in a desert – it has that ‘dry look’). Though what I appreciate the most, is your dedication to composition. It’s very inspiring, especially for someone like me who feels like they are on ‘fast-forward’ a lot of the time. Thank you for showing us what comes from patience!

  6. A wonderful set of images, esp first 2. I prefer the square format as well and the one thing that improved my image making was buying a very traditional giude to composition in art by Henry Rankin Poore. I should spend more time composing pictures but I usually have 2 small children and a dog in tow!

  7. Oh gosh Karl you have an amazing eye! I LOVE your compositions.
    (The first 2 are my favourite also, funny you’re the first to comment on those images. I like the delicacy of them)

  8. Reason why Hasselbrad used to be the camera for professionals was,
    not only its quality but its square format of 6×6 on 120/220 film.
    It was for the convenience of the editors = larger images are easy for
    them to select, and square format can be trimmed to vertical or horizontal
    to fit to a space in the pages by their convenience.
    It was an harsh reality to work for the assignments of editorial photography.

  9. These are lovely Karen! I don’t often crop square, but that’s mainly because I’m in the (lazy) habit of keeping everything 3×2 (or cropping any 4×3 images to 3×2). When I do take the time to consider square crops I usually like the results, there’s something about cropping out some of the story, as it were, that adds interest or intrigue.

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