I’m just beginning the second portion of Find Your Eye: Journey of Recognition class with KatEye View. In our last class she had us start a photo journal. Our lesson this week is to think about the rules of photography that influence our photos and then consider whether these rules might be limiting us.
As I started this journey into photography that involved more than just snapshots of family events, vacations and just general pictures, I began looking for rules to help me take better photos. I needed guidance and concrete guidelines that would make my photos better. These rules have been very helpful to me. Then, I began to realize that these rules are not laws. There is no reason I can’t break a rule if it's not working for me all the time.
I thought about composition rules. There are several but I’ll just touch on a couple. Until I stared reading about photography I had never heard of “the rule of thirds.” It is the hardest rule for me to remember when I’m taking photos. I have always taken photos with the subject dead center. People and objects just should be centered too me. Also, that’s where the focus symbol is…in the dead center!! I know you could push the button halfway down and still keep the focus on the object, but that doesn’t come natural to me. I’m still struggling with moving the camera around until the subject is in the thirds sections. Don’t misunderstand, I know this is a pleasing way to compose a picture and has really made many of my photos better. I’ve just begun to realize though that every one of my shots do not have to follow this rule! If the photo pleases me, then I really can ignore the rule. Sometimes things are just better plopped in the very center just because it works. In the photo below the object is centered and I like it that way!!
I only had to post about one rule for the class, but as I was thinking about rules this one came to mind, that you have to strive for perfect focus. No, not necessarily. I can break this rule, too, and still have a pleasing photo. In a photo group I belong to, we were prompted to take a picture out of focus to make it like a watercolor painting or to make it dreamy. Out of focus!! Surely not!! I’m just learning how to focus my camera manually and now I'm supposes to unfocus it on purpose!! But, I tried it, and it worked! I truly loved the photo I took. It has become of my very favorites. Who would have thought, you could break a hard fast rule like that!
And lastly, I've been thinking of how I influence my own photographs. I feel guilty about the fact that I mostly take pictures of nature. I started out wanting to improve the photos of my grandsons for scrapbooking, but I drifted in to a whole other area, nature. I honestly do not take good pictures of people. But, I expect myself to. Surely, if I could take a beautiful macro shot of a seedpod I could take a beautiful photo of a person. Not So!! I do sometimes get really great photos of the boys. But, I'm just more comfortable clicking the shutter and capturing the moment that will be gone in an instant and not worrying so much about rules. I see others who are able to take such precious photos of children and I feel disappointed in myself. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm still learning and I can keep working on this. Below is an example of no rules followed, just get that genuine smile!! Very hard to do when he's eight!!
Rules are great, but, sometimes beauty is found by breaking a few rules.