Breaking the rules

May 16, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken. The rule of thirds, in photography, is a powerful rule and has been proven over time to be effective. However, sometimes you stumble across a situation where the rules just beg to be broken. I know that you may find it hard to believe but I actually photographed a tree just about in the middle of my image.

It just works this way. Placing it elsewhere would have created an imbalance. I could not have moved to the left for fear of falling to death down a cliff. There was no point in moving to the right as the cloud action in the background dictated my framing. Yet, I am not advocating that we break the rules simply because we had no other viable choice. The image still needs to stand strong on its own merit. Nobody is going to pay attention to a poor image simply because an attached note says, "sorry, I had no other options but to shoot it from here."

          So what makes this image work in the face of breaking the rules? The clouds dictate this image. That is where the action is in terms of both color and light. I placed the top of the tree trunk right in the middle of the break in the clouds. This is a case where the sum of the parts is more than the parts alone. It just works when used together like this.

          Don't be afraid of breaking the rules. Sometimes these can be striking images.


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