The 1:1 aspect ratio offers a unique style of capturing images that is often over-looked or completely forgotten about. Made famous by medium format cameras such as Hasselblad, Rollei 6x6 and a multitude of Twin Lens Reflex Cameras, the 1:1 aspect ratio is truly singular.
For some reason, 1:1 aspect ratio gives photographs a reality to them that 3:2 or 16:9 does not. Sure, you can drop any image in Photo Shop to 1:1 but when you shoot in 1:1, you have to think about your composition in a completely different way. Because 1:1 is a perfect square, you're not always going to be able to get everything that you might want to get in the shot. You have to be selective about where you place your subject.
I like shooting in 1:1 aspect ratio on my Leica for selfish and frugal reasons. Namely, it's likely I will never be able to afford a digital back for my Hasselblad 503CW. I recently purchased a poor man's digital back for the Hasselblad in the form of a Hasselnuts "digital back" adapter. The adapter looks like a regular Hasselblad A12 back but it has a slot for your iPhone 4 or 5. The image is captured to your iPhone and ends up being something close to a 6 megapixel image. This product is sort of "gimmicky" and has a few severe limitations. I'll be doing a video review of that product in the near future over at HeyDontShoot.com.
The Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) features an easy to use aspect ratio selection dial in the lens dial, right next to where the body and the lens join. You can choose form the standard 3:2, 16:9 which will give you a wide, cinematic view, 4:3 and lastly, 1:1.
Leica lenses have much the same qualities as the Zeiss Hasselblad lenses. They feature colors that are neutral and very true to life. Clean, clear images with fantastic bokeh. Swtich that dial on the Leica over to 1:1 and BAM, you've got your digital 1:1!
I've been meaning to write this blog post for a couple week, but boredom ultimately drove me to shoot a few photos around the house today. I heeded my own slogan of "Everything is a Picture" (Get your "Everything is a Picture" T Shirt right here) and shot some photos in the empty house, empty all except for my sisters dog "Molly".
Leica D-Lux (Typ 109)