Sunday, November 15, 2015



Now, there are things that you should do in photography that are written rules.  We have gone over them in one of these blogs before ( see:
But, there are things we also realize that rules are basic guidelines.  I have mentioned before that one time I was asked to be a judge for a County fair, and was given the assignment to judge not only photos taken by amateurs, but, photos taken by Professionals.  As I was looking at some of the professional photos submitted, I was torn with the lack of composition rules used by the professionals.  So, I had to ask in my mind: "rules are made to be broken sometimes, is this photo better because the rule was broken?".  So, let's go over some rules that we need to add to the list of rules that should exist, but don't exist.  

  1. The first one is that the rule of thirds is one that sometimes can be broken if the picture can be better if the subject can be placed somewhere else.  Take a look at the composition of the photo and see if is best served to have the subject in the center, or the horizon in the middle, or something like that.  Check those things out.  It can be done. 

2.  Buy only the camera equipment that you need.  Oh, this is one of my favorites.  I used to work in a camera store, and I used to see this all the time.  Some people would buy camera equipment that far exceeded their talent, OR, exceeded what they were taking pictures of.  So, they would purchase these big lenses, that would be used for wildlife photography, and they cost a lot of money, but, they would never go  out in the wilderness to use them.  DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!  Decide what type of photos you will take, and then get the right equipment.  Take classes, look through the magazines of the different photos, and decide what type of photos you want to take, and then get the right equipment.  

3.  Don't pack up your camera until you are on your way home.  It only takes a second for the light to change.  I see so many photos that often I say:  That took great patience to get that photo, or that they were just there at the right place at the right time.  Or, how about they just had their camera not put away yet.  I don't think a serious photographer would ever put their camera away until they were on their way home, or even better, HOME.  In a similar vein, don't leave a location until you have exhausted every opportunity of light opportunities that might happen. When everyone is heading home for dinner, is when you will get the best photo.

4.  Don't pack more gear than you need:  How many times have you gone packing with every lens, and camera gear that you have, and then only use just one lens all day.  Decide what you can live with and leave the rest home.  One other idea, can you get by with a multi-purpose all-in-one camera that has a good lens, that can be banged around?  I have often decided that I am just not taking my DSLR backpacking, but, I will take my waterproof, 16megapixel, dustproof, damageproof camera on a hike with me.  That camera turns out to take some great shots.  And it sure is a lot lighter.

5.  Have your camera ready all the time in a default mode.  Always have your camera ready between different shooting opportunities, and that is to probably have it set on some automatic mode, or the camera default mode.  If something happens fast, and you need to grab and get a quick shot, you don't have time to set a camera setting, it is nice that it will take a good auto shot. Just have it ready at all times.  That is the key.

6.  The rule of standing in the right place.  You can be in a dream location, but, if you are not standing in the right place, you will miss the best picture.  Case in point, a concert or a place where there is a lot of people.  The best place is not back with all the tourists, usually, because, you just don't want them in the picture.  Move around and stand in the place that gets the subject better without the clutter (did I really call people clutter?  Yup!  They are clutter)

7.  Two legs can be better than 3.  That statement is loose.  Because most of the time we know that a tripod is going to make most of your photos better.  But, here is the rule to be broken:  You can't use your tripod for all situations.
 Try getting a nice framed photo when you are in the bushes, or a tree is in the way.  Your two legs may be better than the three legs the tripod may provide. 

8.  3-2-1 back-up rule for photographers.  We live in a world of digital photos.  We need to protect how we save our photos.  Professionals have this undefined rule of how to save the photos:
3 - Make 3 copies of your digital photos ( One primary collection and two back ups)
2 - keep two copies on different formats (one on a hard drive, and one online or optical media)
1- Store one of the copies Offsite

That is a magic number for those, like me, who put together a blog like this.  It's a magic number that means I have reached 1500 pageviews in just 3 1/2 months.  Outstanding as this blog continues to grow.  And thank you for your support.  I hope this blog grows, and it is your views that makes it all happen.  Please pass this on, and I will do my part to make it more informative, and more exciting for you.  I will find more exciting information and more exciting "Photos of the Week" as well.  Thank you.  And if you have any suggestions or ideas, I will be glad to take your comments by contacting me at:


Next Monday's subject:  Ok, the time has come, I think.  Winter has arrived in many parts of the world.  And I have had requests on this, so, let's do it now so we are prepared.  Next Monday we will take on the subject of :  How to take good photos in Winter or How to make sure your snow pictures come out with White snow.

See you Thursday for "Photos of the Week"


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