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by Florence W Deems

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In photographic circles that concentrate on competitions and awarding prizes, judges have gathered unto themselves a group of "rules" or more properly termed conventions. Therefore, to enter competitions, the entrants usually feel constrained to follow certain rules. But these rules tend to stifle creativity. They produce the same old viewpoints, no matter what the subject matter might be.

So here I have presented some rules, each followed by an image that breaks that rule. You decide whether these are "bad" images, or not.

Rule # 1 - Never Shoot into the Light


Rule # 2 - Never Center the Subject, or -
Always Follow the Rule of Thirds.


Rule # 3 - Everything Must Be in Focus


Rule # 4 - The Subject Must Fill the Frame


Rule # 5 - The Subject Must Always Be Recognizable

Here the subject is just barely recognizable.

More and more unrecognizable.

Finally, the subject is not recognizable at all.

In the 1st of these 3 images, a woman at the top is peering into her camera-minus-lens to see dirt on the sensor. A man's hand holding a swab is at the bottom.

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A Perfect World Image

Light: Quality & Direction

How We "Read" Images

How I Broke Out of the Box

A Few Examples of Breaking the Rules.

Using Props To Break the Ice

Great Photography Magazines

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