Saturday, August 13, 2011

Breaking rule # 5 and finding my style

I took this picture after a night of skating with family at our local skating rink. Some of the rules would still be relevant for today's youth, but I think it's time to update their sign. :)
I couldn't imagine my boys skating with tucked in shirt tails because tucked in shirt tails are for Church, not the skating rink!!!
I couldn't imagine myself wearing a shirt with it buttoned all the way to top either because that’s just way too restrictive. Choke, choke!

RULES and Finding my Style
If I were to go back in time to 1978 I'd imagine this rule was broken by a lot of roller skaters. Why? It was probably outdated even at that time. I'd imagine some of the rules were strictly enforced while others were overlooked, depending on who was managing the rink that night. If it were a religious person managing the rink, then they wouldn't have put up with a 1978 Disco Dancing stud with his shirt unbuttoned half way down to his belly button.  However, if it was a cool cat running the rink, then he would have overlooked it.

How does this relate to finding my style? The past couple of weeks I've been trying to write a good "About Me" section on my website. I don't know if other photographers and artists have the same problem but I'm finding it very difficult to describe who I am and what my style is in a few sentences. I have looked at others websites and some describe their style in that section, when I get to that part I become stuck and can't continue. Well, after taking this picture, combined watching two movies where the main characters discover who they are, I've found out a little about myself.

I like rules! Rules are my friend :-) Rules guide and direct me but most importantly if I follow them I stay out of trouble. I’ve always been a rule follower and it’s helped me out in photography.
But when I first started out, I didn’t know the rules. I didn’t have any restrictions. I just had fun and played! I played with settings, played with angles, and (gasp) I didn’t use a tripod. Those were fun times, for sure.
Back then, I posted one of my pictures of a sunset which I felt was beautiful and someone made a comment that they liked the tilted horizon.  Huh? What is tilting? I didn't even know what they were talking about, so I researched and found out that there were rules for Sunsets, several in fact.

What was I to do with these new rules? I learned them is what I did. I put them into practice, but at the time it seemed to hinder the creative process took the fun out of it.
I was used to just going out with a curious eye and capturing a moment and a mood.   Now, I was forced to slow down, remember the rule and still make a pretty picture.
It was extremely difficult at first to be creative. However, after a while of practice, eventually I began to take the rules and combine them with my creativity.  As time went on,  the blending of the two became a natural thing.  It felt wonderful to take my new learned skill and create even something more beautiful to me than before I knew the rule.
Now days when I approach a sunset picture, I know not to put the horizon in the middle but I still tilt it if I want. :)

Maybe there’s a rule about TILTING but those who like tilting will overlook the rule, right?

I’d love to hear how you came up with an “About Me” section on your website or blog.
Did you include your style or just list the obvious like you’re a photographer, where you’re from and what you do.


  1. I won't talk about my About Me section because I'm having the same problem. I will mention something about rules though.

    I remember posting something on Flickr one day and saying, "I love this photo, but it breaks a few rules." A friend responded by saying, "Rules? There are no rules it is creative."

    I've often been stuck by rules in photography. I agree they are important to know and to know that when you break them it is with a purpose. I say keep on tilting those sunsets. Do it with gusto. It's what makes

  2. No rules if it's creative! I love that and I'm going to remember it :) Thanks Michael!