This post is written in conjunction with the 30 Days of Writing, a blog challenge devised by Nicky and Mike at “We Work For Cheese.” I’ll be participating throughout the month of June. If interested, you can see my post with the details of the challenge.
Please note that some of these posts will be serious, some will be normal, and some will be an attempt at humor.
In photography, there are normal rules that many shutterbugs follow.
Such as the rule of thirds. Or depth of field. I guess they aren’t true “rules,” rather guidelines that many photographers follow. And I am a fan of these rules — when starting. But the beauty of photography, or any art for that matter, is that rules are meant to be broken.
The biggest rule is the rule of thirds. Basically, that means you should take your image and imagine it in nine equal squares. You should position the biggest and most important element along one of the lines that breaks the photo up — or where they cross. The idea is that there’s interest and balance in your shot.
I do like the rule, but I probably break it more times than following it. I know some photographers who almost live by this rule. And there are times when it’s something that is better because of the look.
However, this is when I point out that they are more guidelines.
Or, so I thought.
As I perused my Flickr stream for this post, I realize I follow this rule more than I thought I did. Maybe it’s an instinct in certain situations. Maybe it’s the post-processing where I think it looks better. That being said, I don’t always follow it and will break the rule.
Take, for example, the shot below.
What improvements would be made if the above shot was in the rule of thirds? None. See, the moon is basically centered, so it would be in the middle of the center square. In this shot, with everything surrounding it, it works without the rule of thirds.
This is why breaking photo rules is important — it gives you a chance to mess around some.
Alas, this falls into another photography rule — framing. It’s where you use other elements (the tree) to frame the shot (the moon) you are taken. So although I snapped the rule of thirds, I got into the framing rule.
There’s always rules. As much as you try and break ’em, there are more to get you!
Some of the other big “rules” in photography include (these aren’t all, just ones I like to utilize — or, at times, break):
Balancing elements — when you utilize the rule of thirds and attempt to balance it with another object on the opposite side of the photo. Basically, something to weigh the photo and even it out.
Leading lines — think a photo of a curvy road or river where your eyes naturally seem to follow the lines to the end of the photo. That’s basically a way for you to see the whole photo and you travel through the image.
Viewpoint — above, below, side etc. Changing the way you look at something can make photos extremely different.
Background — you might have the best image in the world, but if you have a busy background, it could ruin the shot. Or, at times, it could improve it.
Depth of field — whether blurry or crisp, that depth of an image can make or break a shot.
Cropping — How close or far away from the shot you are can be a big thing with photos. With digital as it is now, it’s a little easier to fix this one after.
But, as I’ve noted, not all rules are full and direct. Sometimes you can break every rule in the photography books and think you messed up, only to get one hell of a wild photo.
And, like many things in life, this shows that interesting or good things can come out of breaking rules. Though many rules in society are a must and should, obviously, be followed, there are times when rules can be broken.
With photography, it’s a definite chance to break the rules and see what you can come up with.
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