Rules? What Rules?
As photographers, we are bombarded with rules; ‘follow the rule of thirds’, ‘don’t shoot into the sun’, ‘use the lowest ISO setting’, ‘don’t chop heads off’… and so on. But as street photographers however, we are the anarchists of the art, the rebels, the rule-breakers. Our art is often an immediate, passionate and creative pursuit that reflects a sense of urgency; there is little time to think about the rules, never mind apply them.
For inspiration, look at two of the most prolific and revered street photographers: William Klein and Daido Moriyama. One is renowned for cutting off heads and limbs, the other for creating grainy, badly lit, and often blurred images, and yet both have produced stunning work by breaking the rules.
This assignment is to do the same, to stop ‘over thinking’ the picture being taken, be more spontaneous, and don’t worry about the rules. Experiment to produce a series of sixteen images that break the rules but still ‘work’.
- Shoot spontaneously with no thought or regards to any rules and see what happens.
- Alternatively, choose a rule and deliberately break it. This can be really satisfying!
Some great rules to break in street photography include;
- Apply the Rules of Thirds
- Don’t chop off heads or limbs
- Keep the horizon straight
- Avoid the mid-day sun
- Minimise noise/grain
- Avoid extreme contrast
- Don’t shoot into the light
- Don’t crop (this one seems to be unique to street photography)