Don’t Approach Frame Making Technically

PROPOSAL PHOTOGRAPHY IN NEW YORK, like any art, cannot be measured technically. And yet, many try to assemble the frame as if according to the instructions, like a constructor. Having studied the rules of composition, they try to strictly observe them. But a good shot is not one that is perfectly exposed, nor is it one that is neatly composed according to the rule of thirds. And the portrait is not good when the sharpness fell strictly on the eyes. The main thing is creativity.

There are no absolutes in photography. The language of photography changes like the language we speak. And even in different countries it is different. That is, any rule can be broken. Have you heard the idea that “to break the rules, you have to learn them”? It is not always so. Just because you don’t know how the golden triangle rule works doesn’t change anything. So it is not necessary to strictly adhere to the rules, they can and should be broken. And the already mentioned observation and visual experience will help to do this harmoniously.

There are laws of perception based on anthropology. They always work. So it’s worth, for example, to get acquainted with the theory of color (the foundations of which were laid by Goethe, and formulated in its modern form by Itten), with such elements as rhythm, balance, with how objects with different geometries are perceived in the frame.

Many rules describe only the geometric construction of the frame (Fibonacci spiral, the rule of golden triangles). But they do not take into account the main thing: the features of the plot, texture, lighting. So these are not rules, but just cheat sheets. Such recommendations always begin with the phrase: “To make the frame look better, place the subject in such and such a fragment!”. They were invented in photography schools to explain to a beginner in an accessible way where to place the object. This does not mean that using, for example, the rule of thirds is bad. But this is not a law, but a cheat sheet to simplify the work with the composition.

Personal experience, vision and cultural baggage will allow you to compose shots without using compositional rules. A simple answer to the question of what story you want to tell in the frame will help you compose the shot according to your story. This is what is often lacking in the work of novice photographers.