When I was conducting online photo classes, one of the assignments I gave my students was called "squarification."
The objective was to encourage them to look at their images and/or subject matter to see if it could look good not only full-frame, but also as a square. A square image often has a completely different -- and appealing -- effect.
Here's what I mean:
The top photo show you my original composition of colorful graffiti I found on the side of a railroad car.
I liked the bit of red paint up toward the top that leads our eye down into the rest of the picture.
And then I began experimenting with a square format, as you see in the middle picture. Again we've got the red at the top. But we also have blue lines over at the left that lead our eye down to the bottom third of the square photo, where there's a patch of cool-looking rust.
And finally, in the third photo, I return to the top part of the picture and concentrate solely on that red section.
In this version we have the red line beginning upper left, then continuing diagonally down into the middle of the picture, where it makes an abrupt turn to our left before heading south again.
And, as a bonus, we have the blue lines on the left that also encourage our eye to move down to the bottom of the frame.
There you have it. One photo, three different possibilities. Ta da!
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