How To Break The Rules & Unlock New Creative Possibilities

Stuck? Experiment! How? Try this.

List all of the rules of photography. Then break them. 

Doing this will offer two profound benefits. 

One, you'll develop a better understanding of and versatility with the medium.

Two, you’ll deepen your understanding of your personal goals and voice (vision and style).

If an experiment fails to produce interesting results, you’ll have proven confirmation that what you’re doing is working for you. If an experiment succeeds by producing results that are exciting to you, you’ll develop a new relationship with the medium and maybe even find a personal breakthrough. 

Often you’ll need to try an experiment more than once. Try each experiment long enough to see whether they’re working or not; many of these things won’t feel natural at first.

I recommend making this kind of experimentation a lifelong practice. No matter how accomplished you are, discoveries await you.

Here’s a list to get you started …

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  • Ernie Notbert

    06.09.2022 at 09:53 Reply

    A variant I’d use w/ the 1st roll of Ektachrome I asked my students to shoot was: “Take 36 exposures of one specific subject” Usually assigning a Fire Hydrant ( mainly beccause TAMU was repainting all its hydrants maroon from the color coded pressure ones. Afterall Maroon & White are the football teams colors) Another subject was a “foot” this allowed 12″ as well as toes.

  • Patricia W. LLoyd

    12.09.2022 at 11:33 Reply

    Please give examples of enjambment. Google does not help with photographic application.

    • johnpaulcaponigro

      18.09.2022 at 15:09 Reply

      A telephone pole rises up out of someone’s head. Something is placed behind, beside, or in front of something so that they look like one object.

  • Martha Wakefield

    13.09.2022 at 08:48 Reply

    Thank you John Paul for this. It is very timely for me as I am struggling to get unstuck. This list will help a great deal. Best wishes, Martha Wakefield

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