Breaking the rules.

I have a habit of not doing things the proper way. I tend to trial my own path, and learn from my mistakes. This is especially true with my photography. I take landscape photos in the middle of the day, when the pro’s in books and articles state that there is rarely a point shooting outside of the golden hours of sunrise and sunset.

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I’ll take handheld night time shots, taking 5 or 6 until I get one steady enough to use. 

Now, this isn’t due to any fierce rebellion or a refusal to learn from others – its driven by necessity. I don’t have all the kit I would need, I work shifts which make catching the golden hours difficult and often I’ve not gone out with the pure aim of taking photos, and can’t get bogged down or devote hours to a shot. There are in fact many shots I would never have dreamed of taking were it not for the instruction, inspiration and encouragment of expert photographers. It’s just that I believe we can become too restrained by the rules, with too much thought to the way it’s meant to be.  Sometimes you just have to grab the camera and start shooting with no ego, no fear, no pre-judgment. I don’t mind if it doesn’t work, I still learned from a mistake.

With this philosophy in mind I wielded  the camera on Saturday morning. I woke to find a fine frost covering every surface with its icy charm. I was in a bit of a rush to do other things so could only spend half an hour or so getting the shots, but I was pleased with the results.

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Again, most people would say that I should use a tripod and possible flash. Trouble is my tripod used to belong to my Grandfather and is well, old. There is no quick release and it takes a while to reposition. So while its great for some things – if I want to manoeuvre it around a flowerbed I think I’d do more damage than good!

Please don’t read this and take that I think I know more than the pro’s. I don’t. And I probably never will. But just as learning technique, rules of composition, rules of exposure and learning from others is important  – so is learning by yourself. Just you, a camera, and a way of viewing if you got the shot. Explore photography with a child like sense of wonder and naïvety. You might surprise yourself with the results of breaking the rules.

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