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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    To quote from one photographic innovator in Popular Photography: "You have to learn the rules, before you earn the right to break them."

    Rather humourous, in my view, when I see just a mildly interesting photo, or one that many would throw out, with the photographer proudly proclaming: "Screw the rules!."

    My point is that I have not seen a great, or even a very good photo here where several rules of either technique or composition were ignored.

    Many problems can be solved at the camera level when you are taking the photo or in the post processing. Not all, but that doesn't mean being too lazy to make the effort.

    Ronnoco

  2. #2
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    I'd be willing to put money on Sebastian knowing the rules. Sometimes you get something that interests you regardless of the them. To each his own.

    But yes, you are right. Generally, the rules are there for a reason. And you should know them before you break them. But just because a "broken" photo doesn't interest one person, doesn't mean it won't interest another.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  3. #3
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    So people don't have to hunt:

    Screw the rules...
    -Seb

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    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

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  4. #4
    Forever Learning coloradoamigo's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    To quote from one photographic innovator in Popular Photography: "You have to learn the rules, before you earn the right to break them."

    Rather humourous, in my view, when I see just a mildly interesting photo, or one that many would throw out, with the photographer proudly proclaming: "Screw the rules!."

    My point is that I have not seen a great, or even a very good photo here where several rules of either technique or composition were ignored.

    Many problems can be solved at the camera level when you are taking the photo or in the post processing. Not all, but that doesn't mean being too lazy to make the effort.

    Ronnoco
    Whatever you do, please, PLEASE, don't post a grid representing the rule of thirds, and my opinion, and I'm sure is shared by many, MANY others on the website, but Seb is one of the best photographers to post here, and his advice to others learning this craft is top-notch.
    Regards,
    Brian


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  5. #5
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    confuscious say "don't waste time learning the tricks of the trade - learn the trade"
    oh and wear sunscreen!
    seriously though I know many photographers who have never had any training who produce great images. I also know many photographers who have spent years studying our craft and still produce lacklustre images. At the end of the day (and at the beginning) an image works or it doesn't the rest is subjective. I am sure that if I went through some of the images from my local camera club i would find examples where the image could be improved by adherance to the rules but I would find an equal number where the image would be better if the rules were forgotten.

  6. #6
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Interesting thread. I hear ya, Ronnoco, and generally I try to start by following the "rules" if I have the time and opportunity. But most of my subjects are usually uncooperative and unpredictable to get more than a brief opportunity for a capture.

    In many instances, just getting the unique subject expression/posture/behavior is hard enough that it justifies (or overlooks) any break in the rules.

    Like most things in life, there is no absolute right and absolute wrong way to take pictures. Oh, except for not taking pictures in the first place.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

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  7. #7
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Brian's First Rule Of Photography...
    Have Fun!
    Brian
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  8. #8
    Member ladybugamanda's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    A wise photographer once said, "The rules of photography are really just guidelines - and sometimes you have to break the 'rules'."

  9. #9
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    I think a good photograph NATURALLY abides by the rules. I don't know for a fact but I would have to assume photographs came before rules and rules appeared via social consensus.

    Some of the good photogs here act rebelous but I can apply rules to their photos the majority of the time. Whether they admit it or not, they are intentionally or unintentionally following the rules.

    Regarding, "You have to learn the rules, before you earn the right to break them," I believe Sebastian fits the description. He knows what he is doing in my opinion.
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  10. #10
    ...just believe natatbeach's Avatar
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    Screw rules be lazy if ya want...and proclaim it loudly

    Attached is one of my favorite images---camera was set to auto focus took it out of the bag took the shot...to busy smiling wondering if everything was perfect...adjusted as needed in PS and converted to BW. I wish my camera was set to f/whatever and and I had lined up the baby's head in between the upper and middle right quadrant of the center square.... just kidding

    I say screw the rules and learn to be lazy--------I'm pretty lazy most of the time when I photograph and a lot of my work borders on mediocre to o.k. ...... the images I enjoy the most and I believe are to be some of my best images are the ones that didn't cause me an aneurysm in the process of preserving the moment at hand----

    I saw the shot---i took it----
    rarely do I followed the rule of thirds or the sunny 16, or blah , blah , blah and more blah

    I suppose i could and I would be a hell of a photographer...but I choose to be happy instead of neurotic---because I have plenty of other things to be neurotic about. :idea:

    Life, art, and the opportunity to photograph is about enjoying where your at and one of life's gulity pleasures.

    If I die tomorrow and someone looks at my work---I hope they see what I was seeing and potentially feel, even if just for a moment--- that they want to get lost in the imagery--- I hope that NO ONE EVER just sits there and says "hmmmm--- wonder if this image is technically sound?"

    I agree that there's a place and time for everything ---- rules keep us from spinning into chaos ---
    Art , I hope, for most of us---is about happily meandering right into it:thumbsup:
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    natatbeach:

    For someone who says "screw the rules", you don't do a very good job of it.

    The horizon, clouds, and sky more or less divide the photo in thirds. The guy is in the bottom third and the baby is toward the top third. The darker lighting on the guy directs more attention to the baby and you caught the expression of the baby, perfectly and it fits with the clouds in the background.

    The only problem is that the arm of the guy overlaps the leg of the baby, but when that is balanced with the overall visual impact of the shot, it is still highly effective and artistic.

    Perhaps if you really looked at the "rules", you would find that more of your work follows them, than you realize and that your work is better than you think.

    Ronnoco

  12. #12
    ...just believe natatbeach's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Perhaps if you really looked at the "rules", you would find that more of your work follows them, than you realize and that your work is better than you think.
    I think my work is mediocre and o.k. by my standards for myself

    .... for the the standards of the rest of the world.... it must be good enough for someone to spend $20K on a photo package from images I photographed as test session on location at a clients home about a year ago. (true story) (not attempting to boast---honestly---- just trying to get across that I am aware that my work is not mediocre a lot of the time) The thing is that these rules are imbedded in my brain and when I photograph I rarely pay attention these rules as a first reaction....

    I think you are well aware of the impact a title and an image can have when paired together so----
    just trying to get across and I got a little wordy and passionate....

    getting straight to the point---your post came across, as a shot from the hip aimed at a very talented and well informed and educated photographer---- rather than a true commentary of "the rules" ---I think the bit about the rules was a bit of a false pretense to --- just aim and fire.

    I agree with some of the things you said ----- I guess it's the way that it was communicated
    that made me wonder---what the big to do was about---well, nothing.
    "I was not trying to be shocking, or to be a pioneer.
    I wasn't trying to change society, or to be ahead of my time.
    I didn't think of myself as liberated, and I don't believe that I did anything important.
    I was just myself. I didn't know any other way to be, or any other way to live."
    .
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    My Temp site...

  13. #13
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    If there is a book of rules please, I would like to read them. Where are they? I suggest everyone read the book Creative Landscapes by Mike Orton. He invites you to step out of the box and get creative. Rules are one thing, being creative is yet another. I may not be a good photographer, but don't live your life in a box. Instead of calling it "rules" I prefer "technique". Just say "technique of thirds". This way you are not bound to "Rules". Rules are for kids, technique is what I want to learn.. Just my 2 cents..
    Last edited by Greg McCary; 08-30-2006 at 03:43 AM.

  14. #14
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: Screw rules be lazy if ya want...and proclaim it loudly

    Quote Originally Posted by natatbeach
    I saw the shot---i took it----

    Life, art, and the opportunity to photograph is about enjoying where your at and one of life's gulity pleasures.

    If I die tomorrow and someone looks at my work---I hope they see what I was seeing and potentially feel, even if just for a moment--- that they want to get lost in the imagery--- I hope that NO ONE EVER just sits there and says "hmmmm--- wonder if this image is technically sound?"

    Art , I hope, for most of us---is about happily meandering right into it:thumbsup:
    AMEN!! Well said. Nuff said. Let's move on.

    Larry
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  15. #15
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    I never knew your real name was Larry. I guess I thought you just went by OT, on and off the boards.

    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  16. #16
    Jedi Master masdog's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Quote Originally Posted by natatbeach
    I think my work is mediocre and o.k. by my standards for myself.
    Natatbeach, we're always hardest on ourselves and our own harshest critic.
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  17. #17
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Quote Originally Posted by adina
    I never knew your real name was Larry. I guess I thought you just went by OT, on and off the boards.

    Well in real life more people would refer me to OF "Old _art" than OT, but I think I'll stick to OT here on the boards.
    Don't forget about the Gallery. Are your photos there??


    Nikon Samurai #13

    "A photographer is known by what he shows not by what he throws. The best photographers have the biggest trash cans." Quote from Nikon School sometime in the early 1970's.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Quote Originally Posted by natatbeach
    getting straight to the point---your post came across, as a shot from the hip aimed at a very talented and well informed and educated photographer---- rather than a true commentary of "the rules" ---I think the bit about the rules was a bit of a false pretense to --- just aim and fire.

    I agree with some of the things you said ----- I guess it's the way that it was communicated
    that made me wonder---what the big to do was about---well, nothing.
    Getting equally straight to the point, NO photographer and particularly no "talented, informed and educated photographer" (your words) should be encouraging beginners and enthusiasts who in many cases need some guidelines and rules, to ignore the elements of design and in effect continue producing ineffective, weak, trash with both poor technique and poor composition. So, to be extremely blunt, it certainly was "a shot" but definitely not "from the hip" and it was not personal at all, but at the "Screw the Rules" comment.

    Ronnoco

  19. #19
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Enthusiasm and Encouragement

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    Getting equally straight to the point, NO photographer and particularly no "talented, informed and educated photographer" (your words) should be encouraging beginners and enthusiasts who in many cases need some guidelines and rules, to ignore the elements of design and in effect continue producing ineffective, weak, trash with both poor technique and poor composition. So, to be extremely blunt, it certainly was "a shot" but definitely not "from the hip" and it was not personal at all, but at the "Screw the Rules" comment.

    Ronnoco

    The one thing I like about this website/community is that it is so encouraging and enthusiastic about photography, no matter what level of you are at.
    My personal outlook on photography is that it is an act of life, and I know there are a lot of people around here that feel similarly and are willing to share their photographs with one another.
    Arguing about "the rules of photography" or continually shoving them down the throat of someone who is new to photography (or anything else for that matter) is no way to encourage people to continue with photography. It is also not a way to teach.

    The only lazy thing I see is constantly being down about "the rules", on someone who enthusiastically wants to learn to make better photographs.
    It takes a lot of time and energy to teach and be constructive. which will only enhance the experience of both the less experienced photographer and the experienced photographer.
    Brian
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  20. #20
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    What are these rules to which I keep seeing people refer ??








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  21. #21
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    The rule of thirds in which everyone refers. As for the other ones, someone tell me???
    http://www.silverlight.co.uk/tutoria...se/thirds.html
    For you beginners there is a neat test on this site. I scored 100.
    I

  22. #22
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    NO photographer and particularly no "talented, informed and educated photographer".....should be encouraging beginners and enthusiasts who in many cases need some guidelines and rules...
    I'd have to agree here. I think better photogs should share generally accepted guidelines with newbies so they begin photography on the right foot.

    If newbies were simply given the NIKE "Just Do It" approach, they would take longer to develop the baseline techniques.

    After they figure these things out then they can go off on their own....

    Yes, rules are made to be broken but only a few can get a way with it...
    Canon 5D MKII & Canon 7D

  23. #23
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    The rule of thirds in which everyone refers. As for the other ones, someone tell me???
    http://www.silverlight.co.uk/tutoria...se/thirds.html
    For you beginners there is a neat test on this site. I scored 100.
    I
    Well, to put part of it in a nutshell, all aspects of your technique either contribute to the effectiveness of your shot and the impact of your centre of interest or they detract from it.

    This means your decisions related to focus, depth of field, use of lens, framing, f stop, shutter speed, tripod, flash, auxiliary lighting, ISO, white balance, filters, etc. as well as your decisions in post processing. Post processing may stretch and improve the visual quality of the digital info. recorded on the processor as in exposure, colour and tonal gradations within limitations, but it may make things worse causing more noticeable camera noise and banding due to working with 8 bit images among just a few of the potential problems. Your decisions and your eye make the difference.

    So the first part of it is that you made the perfect technical decisions using your camera and auxiliary equipment to fit the subject of your photo and followed it by making further improvements in post-processing.

    Despite what anyone says, it is pretty difficult to justify bad technique such as poor exposure, lack of detail, green skin colour, poor colour balance, red eye, sloppy flash use, camera noise or grain etc. as intentional or fiting in with the subject of the photo.
    It is possible to create a good photo with less than perfect technique but the technical weaknesses still detract from the photo. It could be better.

    The other part of it is the less technical decisions that a photographer makes based on composition and these too are very necessary to creating a great photo. I will get into that area as well, later.

    Ronnoco

  24. #24
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    At some point, does it matter WHY you are carrying that camera?

    What you get out of photography isn't all about where to place objects, and such. There's many times when these things make a photo better, and the rules are useful. However, sometimes perhaps it isn't so much about the photo as the experience. Of course, then you're creating mediocre snapshots.

    For example, you hike all day, you wait, do your homework, and get to the right location at the right time, and your subject can't be found. Just when you are about to give up, you get the shot you came after. It's isn't technically great, but everyone does't have the subject in an image. It is still a snapshot, but you have challenged yourself, you have learned about your world, you have seen what many,many others may never see. Perhaps one of the last in existence.

    That goes off track some with where this thread seemed to be aimed. However, my point is still the same. Enjoy life, practice, know the rules, but in all of it, learn about yourself, your world, and bring home a piece to remember. If you hit it on the head, print it big and hang it, possibly sell it. If it sucks, you still got that experience, and learn how to do it better just in case there's a next time.

  25. #25
    mooo...wooh hoooh! schrackman's Avatar
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    Re: Learn the rules_screw laziness!

    Quote Originally Posted by manacsa
    Yes, rules are made to be broken but only a few can get a way with it...
    Well put, Eric. I've tried to stay out of this conversation but your comment here compelled me to post.

    First I have to say that Ronnoco brings up some very valid points. I really wouldn't disagree with any of the things he's addressed concerning rules of photography. I don't think I myself could have learned to take a good photograph unless experienced folks here had shared those rules with me and other forum members. But on the same token I do have fun with my photography while still trying to apply the rules. The latter does not necessarily have to exclude the former. For me, my photography is most enjoyable when I've applied what I've learned and it shows on the image itself. Albeit I do have to admit sometimes I just post a pic for fun.

    Secondly, I think perhaps it is not so much what Ronnoco says to others concerning this subject but probably how it comes across when he says it and the fact that he has not posted (or at least I have not seen) any of his "good" stuff for us to gauge whether or not he knows how to actually apply those rules himself. In fact, I think his comments might be more beneficial if he would illustrate with one of his own photos to demonstrate proper technique.

    I for one would find that extremely useful and I am sure others would as well.

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