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Author Topic: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board  (Read 2464 times)

Offline ABERS

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A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« on: April 26, 2015, 08:36:10 AM »
Do you get fed up with taking the same type of picture time after time? Do you stick to the conventional and hidebound  rules of composition, making sure that what you've taken will satisfy those that are?

Whilst reading a recent biography I came across this wonderful piece of photographic advice,

"Have faith in experimentation and only a modest appreciation of rules".

Sound advice or not? What do you think?




Offline Graham

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Re: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 09:03:42 AM »
 Absolutely, and it's an ethos I try to adapt in all areas of life, not just photography.
But some habits are very hard to break.
Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. 

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Offline Oldboy

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Re: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2015, 09:49:29 PM »
"Have faith in experimentation and only a modest appreciation of rules".

Sound advice or not? What do you think?

Good advice yes. If we all followed the rules our images would be the same, only by breaking the rules do new things turn up.  :tup:

But some habits are very hard to break.

You mean you still pick your nose?  :o :-*

Offline StephenBatey

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Re: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2015, 11:43:45 PM »
Edward Weston said that “to consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a
little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk. Such rules and laws are
deduced from the accomplished fact; they are the products of reflection”. If we think about the
rules first, we then shoehorn the subject into a preconceived pattern. If we start by thinking
“landscape – must use a wide-angle lens” and immediately fit one, then we start to view the
scene using it. We have eliminated several possible compositional devices before even
looking at the subject; and possibly worse, we have decided that the subject must be made to
fit into this pattern. The result is a sterile, formulaic view, the same as everyone else’s; an
approach the very antithesis of creativity.


I wrote the above a few years ago, but still believe it. The rules are derived from experience - things that have been found to work in practice. They are descriptive, not proscriptive. Insofar as there are basic rules, they lie within the psychology of seeing - within us, not within our external works.

I fully admit - because I've seen far too many examples on forums - that many photographers view the rules as written in stone, and dissect photographs based on them. It seems as though they do not view aesthetically at all, preferring to rely on the objectivity of a set of rules that lets them know if an image works. Hence, you can never please such if you don't toe the line (placed, naturally, one third in  :)).

Offline Reinardina

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Re: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 10:08:25 AM »
Having 'dived' into photography from nowhere, I'm not really familiar with 'the rules,' apart from the rule of thirds, which I try to adhere to, when I think of it. Which is not often.

I'm still trying to find my photographic feet, and just 'do,' and sometimes quite successfully, but there are still a lot more 'misses' than 'hits.'

I am finally getting to grips with the aperture/shutter speed/ISO link, which is a major improvement. (I know this is very important, and I should have mastered it before I took my second shot, but I have read about it/been told about it, countless times over the years, and it did not sink in. It is only now, with a bit more experience, that it has fallen into place. Probably an age thing.)
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Offline ABERS

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Re: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 04:13:34 PM »


I'm still trying to find my photographic feet, and just 'do,' and sometimes quite successfully, but there are still a lot more 'misses' than 'hits.'


Whatever you do R don't fall into the digital trap of shooting off several hundred images in the hope of finding one amongst them that has some merit.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 05:10:09 PM »


I'm still trying to find my photographic feet, and just 'do,' and sometimes quite successfully, but there are still a lot more 'misses' than 'hits.'


Whatever you do R don't fall into the digital trap of shooting off several hundred images in the hope of finding one amongst them that has some merit.

I fell into that trap, when I first started out. Not on purpose, but simply because I forgot to take my finger off the button in time.
I still shoot two or three images at a time, but no more. Unless I'm trying to photograph a moving object.

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Offline Reinardina

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Re: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2015, 06:09:58 PM »
Bump
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Offline DigiDiva

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Re: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 08:24:27 PM »
Another great thread. I made the mistake of explaining lead in lines to hubby and now he thinks all images should have them. The rule of thirds is a guide for inexperienced photographers and isn't always appropriate but its something that eventually becomes instinctive, like when learning to drive. Take monochrome. Not every image works and again, its experimenting where you see what's right and what's not. Some work both colour and mono but not many.

Again, what's right for Joe Bloggs (was he a real person?) isn't always right for everyone. If I like the image, that's what counts. If it sells, even better!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 08:28:06 PM by DigiDiva »
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Offline jinky

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Re: A Photographic Gem To Take On Board
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 09:54:25 AM »


I'm still trying to find my photographic feet, and just 'do,' and sometimes quite successfully, but there are still a lot more 'misses' than 'hits.'


Whatever you do R don't fall into the digital trap of shooting off several hundred images in the hope of finding one amongst them that has some merit.

I fell into that trap, when I first started out. Not on purpose, but simply because I forgot to take my finger off the button in time.
I still shoot two or three images at a time, but no more. Unless I'm trying to photograph a moving object.

I remember watching that Channel 4/5 (I think ) programme when the "esteemed" Martin Parr recommended that very approach  :D

I took on a Leeds photographer as my main at times  / 2nd shooter at times assistant covering my daughter`s wedding which I broke the rules about and covered when I could with that help. What a nightmare when it came to getting the cards off the other guy to edit all in my style. Turns out he had shot over 2000 images and needed to "prune" them before he could pass them on. If I had 1 shot of something I had 10! took me ages to make sure I was not deleting a good one as I savagely cut the raws from 2000 to under 250 to edit. me - I had overshot  myself taking some 600 plus images over a 13 hour period. Took some work getting down to what I needed.

As for rules. I leave it for others to decide if I follow rules or not. I just shoot what I like how I like getting the odd lucky result that surprises or exactly / near to  what I planned when I have done a grand plan of my aim. I felt most restricted in my weddings work when clients  gave long lists of group shots but tried then to work out different ways of doing them to the standard lines / horseshoe gatherings except when time constraints dictated a production line approach which made my heart sink.

 

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