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What is a fundamental rule?

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by the dingo, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    You make a very good point .....


    ..... but it is still 'Hotel California'.
  2. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    'Tis one thing to learn and know the rules and another to know when - and how - to break them and to do it successfully.

    Oh! Good grief! Scrap that. Try again.

    It is two things to learn and know the rules and another two things to know when and how to successfully break them.

    [Just trying head off the pedants at the pass. ;)]

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  3. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Well, whilst you are all arguing the toss (or tossing the argument), I've just sold another to a Graphic design company in Germany. So, what do I care for your rules/no rules/myths and legends... :p

  4. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Just checked my (translated) copy of Leonardo's note books and there are a lot of compositional rules there - for various types of subjects and backgrounds. I did not spot any mention of the rule of thirds though!
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yeah, but he was more of a Vitruvian man, as it were. ;)
  6. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    Other than art of any kind being subjective, I'd have thought the 'best' artists (paint, pixels, whatever) are intuitive, they have an eye, a gift, a knack, and whether they are aware of the rules or not just come up with the goods.

    And, it's patently obvious that, just because one knows the rules doesn't mean one can produce the goods. ;)
  7. PhilW

    PhilW Well-Known Member

    Exactly, and what I said back in post #19: This is a set of shorthand descriptions for a set of observed generalisations

    The rules are people looking at things that work, and trying to articulate why they have worked in order to help people take pictures that TEND to work.

    Who likes to "slavishly obey"?

    As I say above I don't know anyone who slavishly obeys them. But I do know lots of people - and I am one. Who have absorbed the observed learnings and keep it bubbling along just over my subconscious while shooting.

    But because i understand (as I expect most people do) the limitations and context with which the so called rules need to be considered I would not describe what I do as slavish obedience.

    What this is all about is leaning what different compositional devices can do to change the look and feel of a shot. That's what is meant (again getting under the skin of the catch phrase) by "you need to understand the rules before you break them".

    So using my example from before if I want to make a edgy looking shot I can say to myself. Hmm i don't want this to look too balanced so lets avoid the thirds, I want people's eyes to be darting around slightly confused so lets's not 'do' leading lines. And I want stark, so lets blow some highlights and block up some shadows.

    And if you are an analytical type, that could be one way of getting to your desired outcome - A COOL looking shot.

    Others might just "see" it. But we are all different.

  8. the dingo

    the dingo Well-Known Member

    If you think I'm aggressive, you should hear my wife when she gets caught in traffic.
  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    As a polymath Leonardo was into analysing every thing.
    He would have been as happy as a "Sandboy" if he had thought up the rule of thirds.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  10. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Ahhhhhh but did it follow the rules.......

    Well done.
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I'm sure you're right; but that's not on a forum, nor (I suspect) do the targets of her vitriol get to hear it. ;)
  12. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member


    Actually, it didn't follow the rule of thirds and always bothered me a bit because it didn't! It must have left just the right spaces for text and/or logo! ;)
  13. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    That sounds the fundamental rule to bind them all!
  14. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    There's been a lot of stuff that the Greeks thought about and formulated, which the Arabs managed to acquire and fill their famous library in Alexandria with, which was subsequently destroyed in a fire. Some of this knowledge eventually spread around the world, and I would have thought, aspect ratios, the golden rules etc. would have been amongst that material.
  15. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    That must have been one wonderful place. There's so much it has taken us a long time to catch up with.
    Actually, mentioning the Golden Rule made me smile. It requires that we treat others only as we consent to being treated in the same situation.
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Kate,

    Some rules are more golden than others. Some people are more willing to think (or even to try to understand) than others. That's quite apart from some people being more polite than others.


  17. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

  18. AdrianSadlier

    AdrianSadlier Well-Known Member

  19. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

  20. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    First rule of photography...........there are no rules. What is the difference between a good and a bad photograph aesthetically is subjective and down to the individual's personal taste. I think we CAN judge what is a good or bad photograph on a technical level because clearly if you've got your finger over the lens when you take a photo, then that's a bad photo. We can analyse and over-analyse photos until the cows come home, but, if at the end of the day it "doesn't float your boat" then it doesn't float your boat............just don't get hung up about the whole process!


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