In 1935 when the equivalent of ISO8 35mm film was fuzzy and profoundly grainy, it made sense to compose in the frame to keep enlargement size to a minimum. Those who totally lacked originality nor creativity and could only function within an all encompassing set of rules, declared themselves to be "Purists" and applied this idea globally - no matter the content. What they ignored was the plethora of formats.
Which was the pure format? 35mm with its 2:3? Large format 4×5 and 8×10? Or large format 3¼×4¼, 5×7 or 11×14, or the variety of wide-format banquet cameras? Or perhaps medium-format - I have personally shot 4.5×6, 6×6, 6×7, 6×9 and 6×10. Fuji also made 6×8 and 6×17 cameras and others made 6×12 and 6×24. Many digital cameras shoot 3:4, but others do 2:3 and/or offer 9:16 to match HDTV. Movie formats would take another article, they are so diverse. Which one is "pure"?
If you shot with a 6×6 Rollei, were you "pure" and the other 96.37% of shooters "impure"? Some manufacturer called the 6×7 format "Ideal Format" because it fit 8×10 paper with a minimum of cropping - not no cropping - just a minimum of cropping. In fact the classical Greeks defined the "Golden Mean" as 1:1.618 and it occurs through the history of art, even though the artist may have had no knowledge of it. My Brooks VeriWide 100 - with its 6×10 format - came closest of any camera within my knowledge, of approaching that ratio.
Most of these formats were engineering decisions that had nothing whatever to do with the perfect purist ideal, but rather decisions that made the camera cheaper to make on the production line.
The old paper sizes more or less followed at least some of the common ratios of cameras, then the Y'rpeons came along with A3, B2-Super sizes that matched nothing whatever - but the bureaucrats in Belgium loved them, for no other reason except it gave them something else to administer.
All the above is pure idiocy - sizes to fit the dictates of huge corporations wanting to keep costs down an profits up by standardizing on arbitrary ratios.
Photography is art, not manufacturing, not sport. There is no international committee of wealthy old sportsmen who meet in the smoky private lounges of ultra-posh athletic clubs, and determine the "rules" of photography over old cognac and Cuban cigars. We are all about content, presented in as eloquent a manner as possible to deliver our visual message. Part of the way of achieving that eloquence is letting the content command the cropping to produce the most expressive and effective composition. I listen to the demands of my content and oblige accordingly.
ha... well said that man.... specifically this bit tickles me
Those who totally lacked originality nor creativity and could only function within an all encompassing set of rules, declared themselves to be "Purists" and applied this idea globally - no matter the content. What they ignored was the plethora of formats.