How to break the rules of photography and create compelling compositions

One of the more popular rules of photography is the rule of thirds. Well, it is one of the most often used rules of photography, but it is also one of the most broken ones. in other words, that rule is often broken to create more compelling compositions. The rule of thirds is a simplified version of the golden rule and is widely used to produce compositions where the subject is placed at an ideal location in the frame. While it is an often-used rule, that rule deserves to be broken from time to time to create much more compelling compositions.

Let’s take an example.

Breaking the rule of thirds

We normally place the subject at one of the grid intersection points. But once in a while, placing the subject right in the middle of the frame can produce a more compelling image. This is true for portrait images where the subject is dead at the center of the frame; I’m looking straight at the camera.

Placing the subject left or right at the center doesn’t have the same compelling results.

Hold the camera at an angle

ever since we started wielding the camera in our hands, we’ve been taught to hold the camera steady, straight, and parallel to the horizon. But is there a reason we should not do it from time to time? Why not? Holding the camera at an angle can create a visual jerk. It can also initiate a sense of tension in the composition. Let’s say there’s a boat in the water. If you tilt your camera hand and hold the camera at an angle, you will create a composition where it will appear as if the boat is going to tip over. Thereby you will create tension in the image and, with it, a more compelling composition than otherwise.

Move the camera while the exposure is being made

yes, you read it right. I’m asking you to move the camera while the exposure is being made. Yes, I’m asking you to incorporate motion blur in your images. The trick is to use a slower shutter speed than normal and then move the camera while the exposure is being made. It will lead to interesting visuals. Even if the movements are not exaggerated, you can hand-hold the camera and try to hold it still over a long exposure, and it will still give you the kind of effects you’re looking for.

Zoom in or out, and during the exposure

this is yet another example of an effect where the camera moves during the exposure. Albeit not the camera itself but rather the lens focal length. You need to use a longer-than-normal shutter speed and then, while the exposure is being made, quickly zoom in or out while holding the shutter button down half depressed. This will have the effect that the subject is fairly sharp in focus while the rest of the frame blends out.

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