If the first rule is that there are no rules can that be the a rule?

Arnold Newman, the master portrait photographer tells us there are no rules for composition.

There are no rules and regulations for perfect composition. If there were we would be able to put all the information into a computer and would come out with a masterpiece. We know that’s impossible. You have to compose by the seat of your pants.” – Arnold Newman

Arnold tells us there are no rules yet his images follow certain rules of composition that you definitely can see and follow and your photos will get better. And they are wonderful. They work. I don’t think we are following the seat of his pants.

So are there must be rules or as they say in The Pirates of the Caribbean, “guidelines.”

I like the term principles. (It’s just semantics) I think there really are principles and guidelines and rules we can learn about and apply to our photos. And if applied well, they will make our photos better.

It then seems as we get better and better at applying these rules, we can just smash them to bits and we’ll be even better. Any rule you can make you can break.

What’s up with that?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.