I much prefer the word oblong to rectangle, it sounds more descriptive and less technical.
I'm always pleased when something emerges through my photography that has been bouncing around in my head and these two pictures from a trip to Llandudno yesterday are a case in point. I've been thinking about height and width, shape, composition, framing, in short the canvas size that we all have to consider when making pictures. I imagine that most photographers happily stick to the shape of the picture forced on them by the maker of their camera, this usually being based on the proportions of the sensor and reflected by the shape of the viewfinder or screen. Although it's possible to change this in the menu or to crop the image later on in post-production, I wonder how many people do this on a regular basis.
One of the reasons I struggled with digital photography for some time was the shape of the final picture. Most contemporary cameras adopt the proportions of a 35mm film frame - 3:2, which I've never loved. I've always preferred the proportions of 5x4 from large format or 6x7 from medium format, so struggled to embrace the shape provided to frame the world. This is no minor detail, it seems to be such a fundamentally important aspect that I'm surprised camera manufacturers don't make different shaped sensors in the way there were always many film formats. I think a square sensor camera would be really popular.
I'm not a fan of talking too much about camera equipment on my blog as I want the emphasis to be on ideas and creativity, but it is important for me to have a camera that I love and enjoy using. I discovered Olympus and the FourThirds sensor a few years ago and this helped me embrace digital picture making. I don't crop my pictures so this format provides me with 4:3 proportions that feel very comfortable and the viewfinder reflects this shape. My perfect oblong.