The Art Of Breaking The Rules

This may be a shocking statement to some, but I don’t believe there are any real rules in photography.

This may seem like a crazy statement as most new photographers learning the craft are soon introduced to all sorts of rules related to their cameras.  The most famous is the Rule Of Thirds, but there are others that cover the whole gamut of exposure and composition:  fill the frame with your subject, don’t shoot in harsh light, images must be tack sharp so always use a tripod, horizons must be level etc. are but a few of them.  Of course there are rules, and they are very useful. Continue reading The Art Of Breaking The Rules

The Basics – Breaking Rules

I remember when I first met Kristina she was looking for a fellow photographer who liked breaking the rules. My reaction at the time was confusion, because I didn’t know what those rules were. Recently I came across a list of basic photography ‘rules’ and I was pleasantly surprised. Both by what the rules are and were I fell on the spectrum of rule breakers. Continue reading The Basics – Breaking Rules

Are you the toy-photographer I’m looking for?

I have read them all, the rules of photography. You have probably heard of most of them: The rule of thirds, placing focus on the eye closest to the viewer, focusing on your main motive, placing the negative space in front of the subject and not behind it, using a tripod when practicing macro-photography so you don’t get the picture unfocused because of your hand shaking and so on. I am guessing that you to have read at least one or two blog posts about these as well.

I know most of the rules of photography by heart. I use them when I take pictures, and knowing them makes me more comfortable as a photographer. Maybe it’s true that once you know the rules you can break them, but I´m not so sure. Because the theory only works if the viewer also knows the rules and knows that you’re breaking them. How do I know, that they know, the rules? If a viewer sees a blurry picture do they stay long enough to understand the picture or do they just ignore it as another picture that is lacking focus…

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From my point of view there is a thrill in pictures that play with the rules. I like the idea of breaking the rules, and making “the wrong” – right! When I look at photos, I like looking at pictures that are hard to read, and I love to try to figure out if the photographer intended it to be that way, or if it just happened, by chance. I like it when a photographer intentionally challenges me and makes it difficult for me as viewer to get in to the picture. Not knowing the rules and just breaking them doesn’t intrigue me, but doing it on purpose makes me want to dig deeper in to the work of that photographer. I have a hard time finding toy-photographers that work with that idea of making “the wrong” – right!

I would like to see more toy-pictures break the rules and make a point of it, but I haven’t found many yet. Maybe you know where I should look. If you do, please let me now.

Kristina

Rules are Made to Be Broken

LEGO Chima bird holds custom sterling silver double headed axe on the edge of a cliff
The Tipping Point

 

I have certain rules I set for myself when editing down images into a cohesive set for exhibition. One of them is to not be too attached to any one image and always be suspect of any image I am too attached to. But rules are made to be broken, even this one.

I have an unnatural love for the Chima line of LEGO mini figures, I will freely admit this. Even though LEGO sells this line well, the online toy photography community tends to be pretty disparaging of these figures. I see this opinion reflected repeatedly in the number of likes for a Chima image compared to just about anything else I post. I know that an images popularity is dependent on many factors: when you post the image, who is active during that time and of course the subject. Some figures just have more pop culture resonance than Chima.

Because I can’t seem to make up my mind on the final six images I will be showing next month, I printed two extra images so I could do some last minute editing. I was uncertain what the last alternate image was going to be until I was tagged in someones feed that had posted this image:

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This image hit a little too close to home because I was (am?) this kid. Maybe this is why I like the Chima sets so much, because they are the underdog, the nerd, the misfit, much like me.

So I went to my desk and found my favorite image featuring a Chima figure and got it ready for printing. I sent it to The Color Group (who are beyond awesome) for enlargement. I know this image will look great but has little salability (I admit I could be wrong), but I don’t care; I am super excited to see it hanging proudly on the gallery wall.

I can’t stop haters from hating, but if I am going to lay it all out there, I should include one of my personal favorite images of the year. I’m going to break my own rule of not including an image I am overly emotionally connected too, and let the chips fall where  they will.

~ xxsjc

I want to extend a very large thank you to our friends at The Color Group who have been more than wonderful to work with. They are printing all the images for this show (18 large scale prints), working with two artists from out of the country and holding my hand as I periodically melt down. They have made every deadline and printed the work with care and professionalism. I can’t recommend (or thank) them enough.