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Photography Question 
Adlah A. Alessa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/22/2005
 

Rules of Photography


Hi, I would like to know the steps or the rules of photography that all photographers should follow ... such as angle, light, composition...


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3/15/2006 10:59:36 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  There aren't any definite rules. Get it in focus, get close enough, expose it right. Anything else depends on how you want the photo to look. The only thing I can think of is make everything you see in the photo work together to make a good photo.


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3/15/2006 11:17:15 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   There are several so-called rules like the rule of thirds (don't put your subject in the middle of the frame), don't put a foreground object in the middle of the frame, don't put the horizon in the middle of the frame, etc. However, I have seen dramatic photos that broke all of these rules, so I have to agree with Gregory. If it looks good, it works.


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3/16/2006 7:58:46 AM

 
Karen E. Michaels
karenemichaels.com
  This is why it is called art. If there were finite rules, it would be called Xerox. Let's not be afraid to be bold. Take what you want and how you want to express it. Peace, Karen


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3/16/2006 8:16:48 AM

 
  Hi Adlah; I know of only one granite rule for photographers. If it's a person or a work of art, get a release signed.
Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark


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3/16/2006 1:06:44 PM

 
Catherine    Hello Adlah,

The way I learned composition was to join a camera club where they invited a professional photographer to come to our meeting once a month and we held an internal contest with a specific theme. The guest photographer would critique our work and go into detail on how we could have improved it. Go online and see if you could find a similar club or talk to other photographers, show them what you've done so far and ask for their critique. A lot of photographers have an emotional attachment to their photos and have a difficult time seeing the flaws. The club taught me to take a step back and have a more objective eye towards my work. I learned a lot from the mistakes I made and got great ideas to experiment with. Good luck.


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3/21/2006 5:33:38 AM

 
Patricia A. Cale
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2002
PatriciaCalePhotography.com
  I take a lot of classes with two pros in my area, Willard Clay and Hank Erdman. They teach all the compositional basics, but don't call them rules. They say there are no rules in photography, only TOOLS. So use all the "rules" as "tools" and don't worry. As stated before, if it looks good that's all that counts.

Another thing Will teaches is to fill ALL the corners with something that adds to the composition. This can be an object or even negative space. By putting an object or two in corners, your composition will improve greatly and you will find yourself getting rid of distracting elements in your shot.

Check out Will's website at: http://www.agpix.com/photographer/prime/A0079520.html

Pat


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3/21/2006 6:27:46 AM

 
Mikael Orbratt   Buy the book Creative Nature & Outdoor Photographt by Brenda Tharp. It will be the best spent $25 you've ever made. It's an easy read 150 page book with a lot of nice (!) pictures. The book explains all you need to know, and more.


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3/21/2006 9:44:47 AM

 
Patricia A. Cale
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2002
PatriciaCalePhotography.com
  I have Brenda's book and it is excellent. I also took her travel class and learned a lot of composition tools from her there. In fact, there are many excellent classes on-line here at BP that will help you learn composition better. I took Kerry Draeger's classes and saw immediate improvements. Then I started taking more advanced classes to fine tune what I had learned. Each instructor has their own little techniques that will help you learn. If you can afford it, start taking the classes here at BP.


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3/21/2006 10:52:01 AM

 
Mikael Orbratt   Oh, forgot the most important thing:

Practice - Evaluate - Practice - Evalute - Practice - Evaluate ......., and make sure you always have fun. Pick what You think is interesting to shoot, or areas you enjoy to visit....

Good Luck and have fun!


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3/21/2006 12:54:57 PM

 
Bob Chance
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/19/2006
 
 
 
Hello Adlah:
I have to agree with most of the responses. There really are no hard and fast rules, and in some cases, all the guidelines are broken and still result in a superb photo.
Often I have shot something, not really knowing what it was I was seeing or how best to shoot it. Sometimes it's not neccessarily through the lens that we see the picture.
I have quite a number of shots that I have taken in which I didn't follow any rules or guidelines, only shot what I thought was an interesting subject and it turned out to be something spectacular.
I wanted to give a print of mine to some friends whom we were having over for dinner. I chose a shot a a Lotus flower that I had taken a couple of years ago.
I did some doctoring in the software and decided an 11x14 would be an appropriate size. It looked pretty good on my monitor when I selected "Print".
The final result however, printed quite a bit darker then I had wanted it. But the end image was absolutely gourgeous.
With the leaves being darkened, the flower really stands out and you really see the subtleties of the light on the blossom itself. So you see, there really isn't even a hard set rule for exposure. It's all a matter of what you as the photographer intends to convey to the viewer through the medium. You are the artest. So, create, experiment and most of all, have fun.


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3/21/2006 4:41:59 PM

 
Bob Chance
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/19/2006
 
 
 
Hello Adlah:
I have to agree with most of the responses. There really are no hard and fast rules, and in some cases, all the guidelines are broken and still result in a superb photo.
Often I have shot something, not really knowing what it was I was seeing or how best to shoot it. Sometimes it's not neccessarily through the lens that we see the picture.
I have quite a number of shots that I have taken in which I didn't follow any rules or guidelines, only shot what I thought was an interesting subject and it turned out to be something spectacular.
I wanted to give a print of mine to some friends whom we were having over for dinner. I chose a shot a a Lotus flower that I had taken a couple of years ago.
I did some doctoring in the software and decided an 11x14 would be an appropriate size. It looked pretty good on my monitor when I selected "Print".
The final result however, printed quite a bit darker then I had wanted it. But the end image was absolutely gourgeous.
With the leaves being darkened, the flower really stands out and you really see the subtleties of the light on the blossom itself. So you see, there really isn't even a hard set rule for exposure. It's all a matter of what you as the photographer intends to convey to the viewer through the medium. You are the artest. So, create, experiment and most of all, have fun.


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3/21/2006 4:42:59 PM

 
Bob Chance
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/19/2006
  Hello Adlah:
I have to agree with most of the responses. There really are no hard and fast rules, and in some cases, all the guidelines are broken and still result in a superb photo.
Often I have shot something, not really knowing what it was I was seeing or how best to shoot it. Sometimes it's not neccessarily through the lens that we see the picture.
I have quite a number of shots that I have taken in which I didn't follow any rules or guidelines, only shot what I thought was an interesting subject and it turned out to be something spectacular.
I wanted to give a print of mine to some friends whom we were having over for dinner. I chose a shot a a Lotus flower that I had taken a couple of years ago.
I did some doctoring in the software and decided an 11x14 would be an appropriate size. It looked pretty good on my monitor when I selected "Print".
The final result however, printed quite a bit darker then I had wanted it. But the end image was absolutely gourgeous.
With the leaves being darkened, the flower really stands out and you really see the subtleties of the light on the blossom itself. So you see, there really isn't even a hard set rule for exposure. It's all a matter of what you as the photographer intends to convey to the viewer through the medium. You are the artest. So, create, experiment and most of all, have fun.


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3/21/2006 4:43:30 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  1)shoot with a camera, not with a gun
2)Take nothing but Pictures, Leave nothing but footprints.
3) its the photographer, not the tools.
and... thats all I got for now. Anyone else?
Craig-


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3/21/2006 5:23:59 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  those are the 3 best yet.


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3/21/2006 5:31:13 PM

 
Patricia A. Cale
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/25/2002
PatriciaCalePhotography.com
  Hi Craig:

#3 is THE answer. Years ago, in my first photography class, the instructor said not to go out and buy the fanciest camera because it was the person behind the camera that made the photo, not the camera.

Thanks for reminding me!!!!

Pat


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3/21/2006 10:13:17 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Rule #1:

If you want to improve:

Shoot, analyze, shoot, analyze.
Practice, practice, practice.


Pete


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3/22/2006 4:18:09 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  "Rules" are guidelines at best...(unless they are being suggested by someone wearing a sidearm.) ;)

One general guideline to keep in mind is to never take on a scene at face value. Always change things up a bit.
...Choosing a different angle of perspective, selectively focusing on different elements near and far, bracketing exposures, experimenting with different shutter speeds on moving objects, etc...all help to transform something mundane into a work of art.

Another thing,:
Know your equipment.
It's true that the photographer creates the image but one can only be as good as their knowledge of the tools in their arsenal.

Bob


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3/22/2006 4:47:03 AM

 
Douglas R. Shoop   The basic rules of photography apply to all situations equally and of course are, open for manipulation and interpretation. All photographers work around the basics but, in differents ways with different results.

Remember, like gravity the basics are inescapable we always fall back on that knowledge to hold us up to create better images.


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10/28/2006 6:42:19 AM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  When Tiger Woods began formal lessons as a small child, his coach gave him this advice; "Swing as hard as you can, we'll work on control later." Seems to have paid off. Jack Nicklaus received the same advice from his teacher, "Mr. Jack Grout."

Lesson?..Shoot, shoot, shoot! Fine tune as you go.


Pete


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10/28/2006 7:17:09 PM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  When you compose a shot, ask yourself this.. "If it does not add to the image,why am I including it?"


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10/30/2006 6:10:38 AM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Don't shoot on a full stomach as you might get cramps....... : )


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10/30/2006 2:05:32 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Jokes that bad on a full stomach will get you a suddenly empty stomach.


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10/30/2006 11:09:01 PM

 
ANTHONY CAROLINA   Rule #1)The best photographes only show their best images.
Rule #2) practice practice practice
Rule #3) get a book, learn basic rules of photography.
Rule # 4) *Break all the basic rules of Photography.
Rule #5) see rule # 1&2.


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10/31/2006 5:58:05 PM

 
  Photography is not in the hands. Photography is not in the mind. Photography is in the eye.


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11/1/2006 1:44:56 PM

 
Nacoma D. Hayden
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2004
  I say screw the rules. But before you break or bend the rules, learn them. It is much eaiser to do something wrong and not get caught if you know from the start that you are doing something that goes against the grain. Rules are made for science based studies. Photography is not a science... it is an ART.!!! And if Picaso followed the rules, he too would have painted fat half naked women. ( how horrible that would have been.)


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12/1/2006 10:38:17 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  May have been better than the square headed people he did paint.


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12/1/2006 12:45:01 PM

 
David A. Bliss   The rule of thirds is the most important "rule" to learn. It works on the most basic level of what the human eye finds appealing. While the rule of thirds can be broken, you will find that the majority of pictures (photography, painting, whatever) follow it. Even Pablo Picasso followed the rule of thirds. I have seen his name used all the time in regards to "breaking the art rules." Picasso absolutely broke the "rules" of popular culture at the time, but his work still used the basic art structures.

Every rule can be broken artistically. Learn the rules to break them correctly. Otherwise you are shooting in the dark hoping something comes out. Hand a monkey a camera and you could get the same results. I know this seems a little harsh and elitist, but there is a reason certain "rules" have been followed since the dawn of art. Anyone who says there are no "rules," or that people should just shoot whatever are doing a huge disservice to anyone who truly wants to become a good (or great) photographer.


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12/1/2006 1:47:27 PM

 
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