by Florence W Deems

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This project will be fun for a group, like a camera club, to do. For the over-all picture of the "rules" or agreements about composition used by judges of various photo competitions, please read the following:

A discourse on "breaking out of the box" - discussing many ways in which one can challenge oneself to produce more interesting photographs. The sections that apply to this assignment are titled "Points of Agreement" and "Agreements Reconsidered." Breaking Out of the Box

This page of images illustrates an assignment I was once given in a workshop about breaking the rules of composition: Breaking the Rules. Our facilitator gave us 5 specific "rules" to break (see below). We did this assignment individually. So this can be done either by one's self, or as a group.

The twist to this group assignment is that everyone should bring in 2-3 unbreakable small objects. Put all these objects into a large bag. Each person will dip into the bag without looking and draw out one object. If it is one of his/her own, then put it back and try again.

Each person will then take the selected object home and use it as the subject to shoot while trying to "break the rules."

The next time the group gets together will be lots of fun, as the group sees what each member did with the chosen object, and how each rule was broken.

Here are the "rules" to break:

  1. Never shoot into the light.

  2. Never put your subject in the center (or always follow the "Rule of Thirds").

  3. The whole subject must be in focus. If the image is a landscape, then the whole scene must be in focus.

  4. The subject must fill the frame.

  5. The subject must be recognizable, unless the idea was to make a totally abstract image.

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