#Photo3 – Three Ways to Break the Rules

A weekly trio of top photo tips

There are a lot of so-called rules in photography, mostly regarding composition. Most can be ignored however, as there shouldn’t really be any rules in a technique of artistic interpretation, which all photography basically is. The rules have been designed to help you achieve a safe and average image, that will no doubt be pleasing to the eye. By breaking the rules however, you are encouraging questions to asked and making your image stand out. So, let’s rebel with these three rulebreakers.


Placing your main subject dead-centre can lead to a static-looking result, where the subject is not making use of the whole frame. It can interpret a sense of lack of imagination in composition, whereas an off-centre placement starts to reveal more about the surroundings and this main subject’s relationship with that. Putting your subject slap bang in the centre however makes a bold statement. It focusses the eye on the subject and makes us question its authority. There’s nowt much more that says “Look at me, look at me” than a centrally placed subject!

Dungeness, Kent


Fill the Frame

It has been said that if your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough! Now whilst filling the frame with a subject, certainly makes it more eye-catching, bold and in-your-face, it’s not the most subtle approach. There is another approach however and it makes use of negative space. Negative space is the empty area around the main subject, which speaks loads about your subject, without saying a thing. It’s an empty, silent, negative space, but it draws the attention to the main subject in its own way, as much as the frame-filling version. It just does it a little more quietly!

Lone tree, North Yorkshire

Fill the Frame (or not!)


Only shoot in the golden hour. Use those peak hours just after sunrise and just before sunset to capture your landscape images. The light is warmer and the shadows longer and softer. Use the other hours of the day for sunbathing, taking a nap or just about anything other than taking pictures. If you adhere to this rule, then you are wasting valuable time to capture great images. You may have to adapt your style a bit and change subject, but you can still take pictures at midday. Your camera WILL still work at this time and it will take fantastic pictures too! Think colour, think shadows, think contrast, think silhouettes, think converting to black and white. So, use ALL of the day wisely for photography, not just the golden hours.

Buttermere, Lake District, Cumbria

Don’t take pictures at midday!

You can read more on photography techniques in my eGuides available with an e6 subscription or to purchase separately. www.e6subscription.co.uk

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