Mary Gordon over at Macworld has posted a nifty tutorial article on taking square pictures on the iPhone’s decidedly un-square composition screen.
Ms. Gordon notes that square format pictures are currently in vogue on social media and elsewhere, and presumably in recognition of that trend, iOS 7 added a dedicated Square mode. To enter
the square world, swipe once to the left from the main Camera screen to bring up the cropped shooting screen. On the iPad, just select “Square” from the three mode options below the shutter button.
On either device, but most pertinent to the iPad, it rescues you from having to hold the devices at a more awkward angle to optimize rectangular composition.
Ms.Gordon goes on to suggest some tips and techniques for composing great-looking square shots.
I’m a longtime fan of square photo compositions, having cut my serious photographic teeth on medium format 2-1/4″ x 2-1/4″ twin lens reflex (TLR) cameras using 120 or 220 rollfilm back in the 1970s. TLRs were
well under way to being displaced by single lens reflex cameras by then, but the three dominant professional grade brands—Rollei, Mamiya, and Yashica—all still offered several models with excellent
quality optics that made superb photographic quality possible in the 2-1/4″-square format at prices serious amateurs or struggling professionals (I was both at the time) could afford. Indeed, some
pros who could afford pricey Hasselblad, Bronica, or Rolleiflex 2-1/4″-square SLRs still stuck with the light, quiet, TLRs by preference.
However, the moderate amount of developed skill required to cope with a reversed focusing image, plus parallax errors in close-up work caused by the viewing and taking lenses being on separate
planes, and the fact that most TLRs did not offer interchangeable lenses (and the one that did…