Breaking the Rules

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Most of us are taught to not shoot into the light. Shooting with the sun behind you helps to ensure the subject is illuminated from the front, and eliminating unwanted shadows. While shooting with the sun behind you is an effective way to get great results, one should not be afraid to try shooting with the sun at different angles. For example in this photograph, shooting with the sun in front created a dramatic and bold image, illuminating the ground and showcasing beautiful shadows.

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The rule of thirds says to position the main subject off to the side of a photo for maximum impact. While the rule of thirds can be a great compositional aid, sometimes the composition calls for something different. By surveying the setting, and taking into account lighting, elements, and contrasting colors. I positioned my subject wherever it was most balanced. Subjects that are prominent should be center stage. There are some shots where placing your subject in the middle of it will give you a more striking image.

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When shooting portraits, shooting your subject’s face is obviously very important. But who says you can’t shoot from behind? There is something to be said for the photographer who can capture the essence and spirit of a subject – without capturing their face. Combining the surrounding environment, with the body language of a subject can lead to some very powerful photographs, and some compositions that you wouldn’t normally see. In this case I took a picture of my cat, not intending to take it with his face not visible. However by taking the background and body language under consideration, you can imagine how the expressions would be without even seeing them.

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