There are no rules!

February 8, 2015

“There aint no rules around here! We're trying to accomplish something.”

~ Thomas Edison 


I'm a very compliant sort of a guy - if there's a process to be followed, I'll follow it! I suppose this personal characteristic has been drummed into me through many years of following and observing rules imposed on me from society, in general.  Actually, I don't think I'm alone in this, we all have rules and regulations we chose to obey rather than face the consequences of non-compliance - e.g. the laws of the land, social norms and expectations, etc. 


But, photography is a creative process and I need to constantly remind myself that many of the 'rules' (e.g. 'rule of thirds') defined in photography aren't really rules at all but merely 'guidelines', derived from many great photographers who have gone before and have shared the fruits of their photographic experience.  I suppose, overtime, these guidelines have become referred to as 'rules' simply because it's easier to coin a phrase such as the 'rule-of-thirds' rather than, for example,  'golden ratio compositional guidelines'!  But, within any creative process 'rules' need to be respected but not necessarily obeyed; otherwise, our work becomes constrained and bounded to the norm. 


So, I would recommend that photographers, learn the 'rules', practice them and become proficient in applying them but store them safely in the photographic tool kit to be used as when they are required to assist in achieving artistic outcomes.   


"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun!"

~Katharine Hepburn


By the way, I've read an easy-read, fascinating book on the Golden Ratio I'd like to recommend to anyone wishing to read further on the mind-blowing topic, 'The Golden Ratio & Fibonacci Sequence: Golden Keys to Your Genius, Health, Wealth & Excellence' by Hoshin Media



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