Photography Project – Square Photographs

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Last week I shared some of my initial experiments with square photographs. This week, I’ve posted additional attempts while I was in San Francisco. I set out again with my Holga lens and tried to see the city “square”.

I found myself being drawn again to architectural subjects. Here is a summary of my approach.

Equipment/Shot list

  • DSLR with Holga lens
  • R-Strap
  • San Francisco’s icons in the downtown area

Photo Capture

  • Because of other commitments, most of my shooting was during the worst time, middle of the day. So I focused again on subjects with strong shapes.
  • The Holga lens reduces the amount of light coming into the camera. So I was able to shoot better in bright light without blowouts.
  • Manual focus and manual exposure. There were no other options with this lens. Checking the LCD is important.
  • Framing was guesswork, the viewfinder was dark. I left the camera at it’s typical aspect ratio knowing I would be cropping to a square later.


  • Crop to a square
  • Because of the Holga lens I usually had to bring up the exposure and shadows
  • Stylizing: because these images have been captured so many times, I decided to take artistic liberties and stylize them through Topaz Restyle. The image of Chinatown was taken at about 10:00 am in the morning, I liked the softer colors of sunset and how they complimented the red tones, so I picked a Restyle option that introduced that element into the photo.

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