In our thought provoking E-course, Finding Your Eye, hard questions are posed. Today's was particularly soul stretching.
What photography rules do I live by and are there any I can discard or renegotiate?
Since age 9 or so, I have taken photographs...from ants to antelope; seeds to sunsets; buds to trees, swimming pool to ski slopes. I had NO rules, just sheer freedom....YET!
Today, decades later, I consider myself first a painter, next amateur writer, and last, truly amateur photographer. But something has happened: photography has crept up on me like a warm woolen blanket, and I find it a cozy place to be. I won't be surprised if someday I will reorder my list.
Once I realized that I seriously wanted to 'learn' and to 'understand' photography my sister purchased me a very nice camera...way too much of a camera for someone like me. But I was thrilled and intimidated all rolled into one! An expensive visit to Amazon, ordering books that would surely TEACH me how to WORK this Big Mama, and E courses that were never completed due to exterminating circumstances, suddenly found me besieged with information and words I had no idea what they meant: bokeh (I thought must be what you were AFTER you bought all this equipment!), F-stop, aperture; manual, auto focus vs manual focus, DOF, metering, light sensors, numbers numbers numbers...I am allergic to numbers. I was on a fast train heading SOUTH.
Self Imposed Rule # 1: if I read it. if I heard it. if I was taught it-- It was true and I had to LEARN "IT" FAST. I couldn't begin to photograph anything if I didn't learn all the RULES and TECHNIQUES first
Breaking Rule #1: I had a choice to make, either break some of the self imposed rules or give up this dream of photography. I determined that I do not have to conform to what a blog, photographer or text book author tells me. I will study and explore but I will call the 'shots.' Half my photos out of focus, CALL it creativity. If subject matter is dead center, call it neat and tidy. If I cut off someone's head a new perspective on shooting pants and shoes.
I shall learn by going BEHIND the rule not literally following the RULE. I will fall back on my years of work as a painter and apply what I learned from that medium to my camera. If it takes five more years to conquer all those f stops, so be it.
No one is going to care.
No one is going to worry. There is no competition.
I have another Self Imposed Rule, but I will save it for another post, besides it is a bit personal. But for today breaking Rule #1 is liberating.....and a lot for me to grasp.