Monday, March 23, 2009

Photography's 97 Silly Rules

Everywhere I go, it seems, except for two recent trips to Wal-Mart, people ask me, "Where are all those rules I hear judges keep talking about?" Or, "I'd sure like to get my hands on a list of them rules BEFORE I make my competition prints."
I told a lot of them that I'd try to follow the judges around and make a list of all the rules they talked about.
So I did.
I love making lists, and I collected 97 of their rules before they got wise to me. After that, they'd shut up whenever I walked into a room where they were pontificating about some formula for beauty or some such nonsense.
I won't give all 97 at once, because I'm just too wordy and you just won't have the time, but here's number one, and I'll put up more shortly.

Silly Rule Number 1: First you must learn the rules before you can break them.

Here is Fred's response:
No, you don't. After you learn them, they become a part OF you. Trying to break a rule after it’s part of you is like trying to intentionally break your leg. Very few are capable of it. Getting rid of a rule once it's become a part of your taste is like trying to switch from a food you love to a food you hate. Very few can do it. It's like trying to self-amputate. Very few can do it. Of course, I know that you the reader can, but nobody ELSE can that I know of. Not even me, not completely, and I’m really sore about it. I respected people who told me that. They meant well, though.

In the world of rules,
There are no rules...
Only fools.
- Ogden Nash