Breaking Photography Rules: Two Photography Rules You Can Break To Increase Creativity

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Rules are there to draw the lines, anything in between is not necessarily wrong, especially if it is done tastefully. Photography comes with a bunch of rules that are incredibly important when it comes to taking impeccable shots - however, what if you want to kick those away, and start focusing on the things that seem creative and interesting? After all, why not?

One of the best examples that comes to mind is the fact that you should deliver incredibly sharp images, with crisp details. And then people started playing around with shallow DOF and they saw the beauty of it. Well, let us take that a bit further and play around with unfocused photos.

While you may aspire for those beautifully executed shots where everything is crisp and sharp, let's try something else for a change. Stunningly dreamy images are usually the result of unfocused photos, especially if they come with the right background and subject combination.

Out-of-Focus Photography

Think about it - a shot of people in the rain, everybody trying to get by, busy to protect themselves from the falling drops, dozens of umbrellas all around the place and a general sense of agitation. What best way to picture all this but using an unfocused-style image. Now, there are two things you should keep in mind whenever attempting to deliver unfocused images:

  1. Choose a wide aperture, to make sure your depth of field is incredibly narrow and you will not capture something distracting in focus.
  2. Focus on something completely irrelevant to the photograph - preferably something small that is not in the same area as the more relevant part of the image. It is difficult to discuss about the relevant part of the photograph since it is all out-of-focus, but the point is, your image is still trying to deliver a message, therefore it still has a subject - simply ensure that subject is not at all in focus, but that you can still distinguish most details.
  3. In regards to the second part of the second tip (the one we just discussed) you can choose to focus in either the front or the back of the subject, or to simply manually adjust the focus. This means pulling your camera on full manual, and using the focus ring to put everything in the right perspective. At this point, the question is whether you will be able to obtain the appropriate effect using manual focus - this might take time and practice.

Out of focus photography

Out of focus photography

Try Out Different Framings

This part is a small addendum - most of us know the basic framing rules. But most of the times, you will notice that a different framing just works for a certain subject. The whole point is to make your subject sparkle - take his or her advantages and bring them to your viewer using a particular framing. You can only do this if you try different types of framings.

Framings

Framings

For example, one of the most popular rules is that when taking shots of someone looking at something (when your subject is looking off to one side) it is wise to leave a little room between your subject and the edge of the photograph to give a sense of place to the photograph.

More precisely, to give them a sense to where the subject is looking - now, what if you shoot it really close, what if you forget about that extra space? In some cases, the result might be disastrous, however remember that this takes practice. You will get a general feeling of when this is an appropriate solution, and when it isn't.

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