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Quick Tip: Three Composition ‘Rules’ and How to Break Them


One of the best reasons to learn the rules of photography is so you can start breaking them. In this short video, Canon Explorer of Light and music and sports photographer, David Bergman teaches you how he goes about breaking 3 of the cardinal composition rules in his work, using his Bon Jovi portfolio as an example.

The three rules and their alternatives are pretty straight forward:

  • Forget the rule of thirds, put the subject “dead center” instead
  • Forget shooting with the sun behind you, play around with silhouettes and backlight instead
  • And finally, forget filling the frame, try using negative space to your advantage.

It’s worth noting—and David does point it out, too—that you have master the rules first before you go rogue. Once you know the rules, you’ll be better equipped to decide when it would be best to throw them aside.

Check out the video up top. And if you enjoy this one, you can more of David’s “Two Minute Tips” on Adorama TV, where he shares more on photography, gear and lighting.

(via ISO 1200)