100 Steps to IYP – Lesson 11 – Breaking the rules..

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Inspired by Matt Needham’s comment wherein he said, “Photojournalism has rules. Art does not”, this post is all about breaking the rules in photography. When I say breaking the rules, I’m referring to what are more of guidelines rather than rules – I’m referring to the basic guidelines of composition that include the rule of thirds, the use of leading lines, minimal noise, minimum shake and so on… It is well known and accepted that the use of the aforementioned guidelines leads to some brilliant pictures. But actually going against them can also lead to some amazing results. Let’s see how..

TIP 1: To hell with thirds, I want my subject to be the ‘centre’ of attention!

Often we come across vacation pictures that show one or two persons in the centre of the picture with some part of a recognizable landmark visible in the background. Clearly, it is one of the most common ‘mistakes’ made, and results in the most boring compositions. But… As always, there is a flipside to the coin. The rule of thirds is very fine, but centering the subject, creatively, can lead to some amazing results…

TIP 2: Play with the horizon…

Centre it, tilt it, turn it upside down (hmmm.. I really need to see a doctor don’t I?)

TIP 3: Boost the ISO. Make some noise!

Noisy pictures are not good – common. Good noisy pictures – uncommon. Intentionally noisy pictures done right – awesome! Noise is the perfect tool to get the film-like feel in your pictures. Also, noise looks particularly nice when used in monochrome images, and adds a dark sullen feel which lends a very strong mood to the picture.

TIP 4: Shake shake shake it baby.. till its all a blur..!

I’m talking about the camera please, so don’t get any ideas ;) Camera shake is probably the biggest problem a photographer faces. So what do you do? You turn your problem into a solution. Confused? Check out the picture below to get a better idea! You can also blur your subject intentionally (here I’m talking about not having the subject in sharp focus).

To all those who’ve always wanted to break the rules but never did… Now’s the time!

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