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  1. #11

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    Rules are O.K. in their place but they are made to be broken and for some people I think rules become confusing and stifling. If you're confident enough you can acknowledge them, but still do your own thing.
    Cate

  2. #12
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Colley
    I do not know if this makes sense to anyone but me..

    But I have the thought that 'rules of composition' arent meant to MAKE photographs, in the field they are to be ignored.....
    That makes perfect sense to me. The few times I've tried to think of composition, lines, thirds, golden sections and so on, the pictures suck.

    But looking closer at the few really good pictures I've made, all the rules of composition are there. I just wasn't concious of it when I took the picture.

    And that makes it difficult to discuss, I guess...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #13
    MenacingTourist's Avatar
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    Photography is unique in that it attracts a lot of left brain people. You don't see this in painting or sculpture to the degree that you have in photography. I think it's a win win situation. Right brained people are flexing thier left sides and vice versa. It brings together a group of people that wouldn't normally hang out and ends up helping each other learn in areas the other needs.

    The left brain side of photography warrants a lot of testing and discussion of what is being tested and the results. Photography can be very technical and I find that I'm engaging that side of me more and more. All that chemistry is cool-especially when it works! You wouldn't have been able to bribe me into a chemistry class in school but now I seek it out.

    I also think photography is very approchable. You can get results fairly quickly and can be engaged on any number of levels or interests without really having to live up to an "establishment". Some are primarily interested in "documenting" while others are "fine art" minded and everything in between or otherwise.

    I've noticed a lack of esthetic discussion as well. For some reason it's a little tricky to get this going here. Maybe it's the format. So much of the emotion needed to convey these kinds of ideas are hard to get across while typing. I loved the critiquing sessions in college but wonder how that would really translate to an internet forum.

    Bottom line for me is there is a real need for right brained discussion on APUG but I'm not sure it's possible. I'm glad for what I can get (which is a lot) and I'll let the rest work itself out.

  4. #14
    Wigwam Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer
    Rules are O.K. in their place but they are made to be broken and for some people I think rules become confusing and stifling. If you're confident enough you can acknowledge them, but still do your own thing.
    Cate
    I think people misunderstand the term 'rules' when it comes to photography, or art in general. Mention the word 'rules' and you see people stiffen up, as if you are telling them how to be creative or how to make their art.

    There are no 'rules' in the sense of like speed limits or pulling over for an ambulance or 'i before e except after c', etc. There is no Judge PhotoDredd intoning "I am duh law," and then tearing your photographs to bits and tossing you in jail.

    Photographers have proven that a photograph does not have to be on paper. It does not have to be made with a camera. It does not have to involve film. There is no one process that must be followed. There is no subject that is taboo. There is no subject not worth photographing. There is nothing that cannot be photographed and displayed such that it is not interesting to someone.

    The rules simply are attempts to codify what learned eyes have observed as being pleasing to many people.

    If one is concerned with making their photograph pleasing to many people, the rules are a good place to start.

    If one is not concerned with making their photograph pleasing to many people, but is instead concerned with making exactly and precisely the photograph that they wish to make, then the rules would make no sense and would be silly to use as a guideline.

    GG Allin made art the way he wanted to make art. Not many people liked it, but there you go. Did he want people to like it, or did he want to be true to himself?

    The biggest problem I see is people who choose to please only themselves and then become frustrated that more people don't share their appreciation of their own work. One must think about what one's intent is.
    Best,

    Wiggy

    Note to Self: Tse-Tse Fly - No Antidote

  5. #15
    Wigwam Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    That makes perfect sense to me. The few times I've tried to think of composition, lines, thirds, golden sections and so on, the pictures suck.

    But looking closer at the few really good pictures I've made, all the rules of composition are there. I just wasn't concious of it when I took the picture.

    And that makes it difficult to discuss, I guess...
    Most people can walk. They don't think about how to balance themselves. But there are rules on how to walk. I am going to hazard a guess that if some folks thought hard about the rules of walking, they'd have a difficult time of it.

    So if it works for you not to think about the rules, then that's what works best for you! Others might be assisted by thinking about the rules as they apply them.
    Best,

    Wiggy

    Note to Self: Tse-Tse Fly - No Antidote

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    That makes perfect sense to me. The few times I've tried to think of composition, lines, thirds, golden sections and so on, the pictures suck.

    But looking closer at the few really good pictures I've made, all the rules of composition are there. I just wasn't concious of it when I took the picture.

    And that makes it difficult to discuss, I guess...
    I think many people have an intuitive sense of what makes a good composition, and therefore what constitutes the 'rules', (without them needing to be acknowledged as or called 'rules' at all). Which doesn't mean discussion with others can't be helpful, and suggestions may inforce or break so-called 'rules'. Rules are useful either for schools of artistic thought and practice that want to keep to certain conventions, or they are for people who actually struggle a bit to get a successful composition visually. But they do need to be considered with care - maybe to come with a user safety warning .
    Cate

  7. #17
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    Rules don't teach you how to take photographs, They initially teach you how to See, once you're comfortable being able to see a photograph in the making, you can throw the rules out the window.
    -Karl Blessing
    Karl Blessing.com
    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  8. #18
    Peter Williams's Avatar
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    Maybe rules is the wrong word. Perhaps technique is better. I like the second definition from Merriam Webster (sorry - can't afford the online OED):

    2a : a body of technical methods (as in a craft or in scientific research) b : a method of accomplishing a desired aim

    I would say the "Rule of Thirds" is a technique that can help establishing an aestheically pleasing subject placement. What these rules do provide is a concrete way to discuss artistic elements. Suggesting the rule of thirds can be clearer than suggesting that the subject be moved down and slightly to the right.

    Peter
    If you can't answer a man's argument, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.
    - Elbert Hubbard

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wigwam Jones
    I think people misunderstand the term 'rules' when it comes to photography, or art in general. Mention the word 'rules' and you see people stiffen up, as if you are telling them how to be creative or how to make their art.

    There are no 'rules' in the sense of like speed limits or pulling over for an ambulance or 'i before e except after c', etc. There is no Judge PhotoDredd intoning "I am duh law," and then tearing your photographs to bits and tossing you in jail.

    Photographers have proven that a photograph does not have to be on paper. It does not have to be made with a camera. It does not have to involve film. There is no one process that must be followed. There is no subject that is taboo. There is no subject not worth photographing. There is nothing that cannot be photographed and displayed such that it is not interesting to someone.

    The rules simply are attempts to codify what learned eyes have observed as being pleasing to many people.

    If one is concerned with making their photograph pleasing to many people, the rules are a good place to start.

    If one is not concerned with making their photograph pleasing to many people, but is instead concerned with making exactly and precisely the photograph that they wish to make, then the rules would make no sense and would be silly to use as a guideline.

    GG Allin made art the way he wanted to make art. Not many people liked it, but there you go. Did he want people to like it, or did he want to be true to himself?

    The biggest problem I see is people who choose to please only themselves and then become frustrated that more people don't share their appreciation of their own work. One must think about what one's intent is.
    Wigwam, I think you're mistaken in your concept of what 'rules' are - they are not written in stone, and following rules will not 'willy-nilly' provide an image that will be acceptable to most people. By themselves, they mean very little. I'm not saying they do not have a use, but what you can offer as a photographer or artist is what is important. If you are undertaking a commission for someone, then finding out what they want from you is much more complex than, say, following a set of rules for composition.

    And really, in personal work, if you don't aim to 'please yourself' even if it has to be 'please only [your]self' what is the point of doing it? Otherwise we'd all be doing market research to find the formula for success, rather than creating our own work, or finding our own 'style'.
    Cate

  10. #20
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wigwam Jones
    The rules simply are attempts to codify what learned eyes have observed as being pleasing to many people.

    If one is concerned with making their photograph pleasing to many people, the rules are a good place to start.
    I completely agree. However, when I setup a shot, I don't necessarily think about the "rules" of composition, but subconciously I they are there. Those times where I do break the "rule", I realize it.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

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