January 16, 2009
NEVER Center The Subject!
Never center the subject! Everyone knows that rule.
I don’t like rules and I don’t like being told what to do. So I was taken aback when someone told me that my image of the Angel Gabriel (Click Here) didn’t work because Gabriel was centered. I had to disagree, that’s exactly why the image works!
I created the image above last week in San Diego, at LaJolla cove, its title is “Opposition in all Things.” Yes, I know it’s centered, and yes I know that breaks the rules! It’s not a masterpiece, but part of it’s charm (in my opinion) is that it’s centered. I like it like that.
I do readily admit that I’ve had this fascination with centering subjects for more than a year now, and I quite expect that I’ll have a new fixation next year. That’s okay, but what’s not okay is not trying something because of some dumb rule.
There are lots of “rules” in photography and I’m not sure who declared them rules, but I like to think of them as “vague suggestions.” Sure they might make sense some of the time, maybe even most of the time, but certainly not all of the time!
If you’re ever going to find your own style (and for me that’s what it’s all about) then you must not follow the rules. A fun exercise is to deliberately go out and break some rules. A few suggestions are:
* Wear plaids and stripes together
* Run with scizzors in your hands
* Cry Wolf!
* Center your images
* Look in the mirror and say “I will ignore the rule of thirds”
If you’re looking for “Kodak Moment” then follow the rules. But if you’re looking to create killer images, ones that grab and hold people’s attention, then break the rules and see what you get. You might be surprised.