Out of Ideas & Inspiration? It’s Time to Break the Rules of Photography (VIDEO)

It happens to the best of us: Sooner or later we all run out of fresh ideas and inspiration and fall into a rut. So how do you escape the doldrums and get the get the creative juices flowing once again?

The answer can be as simple as breaking the so-called “rules” of photography and trying something different or unconventional. Unique images are typically the result, and in the process you’ll expand your vision, skills and interests.

The quick tutorial below from the Photography Course YouTube channel is installment 45 of the 52-Week Project that’s designed to simplify common techniques and provide interesting ideas for shooting images that stand out from the crowd. Today’s episode will provide a heavy dose of inspiration to get back out in the field and on track.

Instructor Tara Iv encourages you to pick any (or all) of the three familiar rules she describes and break them to bits. It’s a fun and liberating exercise that we encourage you to try over the weekend. As we’ve said numerous times before, rules are meant to be broken, right?

The overarching goal is to rediscover your creativity by taking a more intuitive approach to photography with alternative techniques for capturing familiar scenes. Iv begins with the well-known Rules of Thirds that involves dividing the frame with two evenly spaced vertical lines and two evenly spaced horizontal lines. Then, as it goes, you place subjects at points where these lines intersect.

Breaking this rule is simple: Just forget about any guidelines, loosen up, and take whatever approach to composition that strikes your fancy. Even try placing a subject smack dab in the center of the frame, heaven forbid, and you might capture a compelling image.

Tip number two involves the common goal of maximizing sharpness. Here Iv suggests you try the opposite approach with a technique known as Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) during a slow exposure like 1/15. And by all means, leave your tripod at home. This often results in photos with a beautiful painterly look.

The lesson wraps up with a rule we were all taught early on; namely, keeping the horizon straight and level so your photo doesn’t appear careless. Here the trick is to tilt the camera left or right to skew the horizon on purpose. This method adds unexpected impact to street scenes, landscapes, and environmental portraits.

There’s much more to see on Iv’s instructional YouTube, channel, including past and future episodes of the popular 52-Week project. So pay a visit when you have time.

And if you want to protect all your hard-earned images, be sure to watch the recent tutorial we posted explaining a safe and simple method for backing up your files so tragedy never strikes.