Sunday, May 8, 2011


...are meant to be broken.

Generally speaking, I'm not one to advocate photographic rules, but I do think it helps to off the lens cap. - Catherine Jo Morgan

Before Your Very Eyes
 Last weekend Pearl and I were on our way to Joshua Tree and during our conversation the topic of rules came up, not photographic rules as much as photographer's rules. Quite often photographers have rules, some have a few, some have many, a few examples might be, no cell phones or escorts. Some photographers never give out unedited images and some will never divulge their 'secret' locations, some will only work with models who fit into a strict set of physical dimensions and so on.
 So then I ask Pearl if I have any rules, she smiles, "no" she replied, "you have no rules", which is pretty much true, I'm not big on rules as I tend to view them as restrictive. The same with rules of composition, although as Pearl's husband Ken very astutely points out, over time the rules of composition become second nature, to the point you unwittingly follow them every time you focus the camera on a subject. I agree completely, after-all, the rules of composition have been derived from good photography, but I also think rules can be broken and sometimes breaking the rules makes for a successful photo.

Edward Weston took the photograph below, on the roof of his home in Mexico City in the middle of the day, he was up there taking photographs of clouds and wrote the following about it:  "My eyes and thoughts were heavenward indeed--until glancing down, I saw Tina lying naked on the azotea, taking a sunbath. My cloud 'sitting' was ended, my camera turned down toward a more earthly theme..."

Nude, Mexico
Sometimes all the planning in the world is no substitute for the spontaneous, sometimes rules have to be broken, AND if your name is Edward Weston, you can take a snapshot of your gf sleeping and have it end up in The J. Paul Getty Museum.

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