“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”.
~ Attributed to Picasso
Rules can help us, and they can hinder us.
Learning when to use them and when to break them, is a skill worth pursuing.
In my Masterclass we write a huge list of the rules and we pick out the ten most common ones that might hinder us, and then as a group we set out to break them. This is an invaluable exercise.
This week I want you to write out your rules you follow. Think of the compositional rules you follow, and the procedural ones you also follow.
Aim to get at least ten down. This in itself may take you a bit of reflection time.
Now pick one, and go out and intentionally break it. Work on it hard and see if you can make some resolved photographs that definitely break the rule.
Here are some common rules that people follow that can easily be broken to get you started with your own list.
Put the horizon on the rule of thirds
Never put the main subject exactly in the middle of the frame
Horizons must be level
Fill the frame or ‘If your photographs are not good enough, you’re not close enough.’
Hold the camera still
Odd numbers and prime numbers are better
Focus on the object in the front of the frame
When it comes to sharing, write your rule and post a few photographs that show how you are breaking it. It is a good idea to post one that follows the rule as well.
What did you learn from this exercise?
Text and Photographs copyright © Len Metcalf 2019