Why I Break The Rules… Sometimes

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Rules To Photograph By

The rule of thirds, leading lines, symmetry, framing, don’t photograph your neighbors through their windows, stay off the grass… rules, rules, and more rules.  So what is a rule?

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Remember when your parents told you to do something a certain way and out of stubbornness you do it your way.  Nine times out of ten it blows up in your face but that one time that it works you want to climb up on your roof (because that breaks another rule and because it’s a high point to proclaim things from) and announce how you did it exactly the way you weren’t supposed to and it worked.  It feels pretty great.  I think that is why some photographers, myself included, see the rules as a challenge.  Tell me photographs won’t look good unless you follow the rule of thirds?  Challenge accepted!  I can’t draw viewers attention without a big old line leading them like a lamb right to my subject?  Challenge accepted!

Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.

Thomas A. Edison

Breaking rules can create some really unique and spectacular photographs.  With that being said, you should know and use the rules before you break them.  Get creative and compose something unique.


Have you ever broken the rules and came up with something great?  Share it with us on the Photo Journal by navigating to Submit an Article and uploading your image and a brief explanation.  Also, don’t photograph people through their windows… that was a joke and it’s weird.  But you can walk all over the lush green grass.

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