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The Rules of Photography and When to Break Them

Book Description

One of the most popular cameras on the market is called the "Digital Rebel," yet many photographers use it and its brethren following tired old rules from tired old photographers. This book aims to show new and intermediate photographers that they can move beyond the dogma and shoot more creatively. If you're just starting out with a camera, or are starting to think about switching away from "auto," this is the perfect book for you. Not only will you find within all the classical "rules"-useful basic knowledge that can sharpen anyone's eye for great photography-but you'll simultaneously be shown how you can push the boundaries that many teachers erroneously set, filling your memory card with exciting, different pictures every time. This book brings the aspirational photography seen by so many in books or on Flickr within reach of everyone.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Dedication
  7. Picture credits
  8. Table of Contents
  9. 1 Introduction
    1. Introduction
    2. How to use this book
    3. Equipment: Show me yours, I’ll show you mine
    4. Equipment: Choosing a camera
    5. Equipment: Lenses
    6. Basic Concepts: Creating an exposure
    7. Basic Concepts: Shutter speed
    8. Basic Concepts: Aperture
    9. Basic Concepts: ISO
    10. Basic Concepts: White balance
  10. 2 Exposure
    1. The elements of an exposure
    2. Shooting modes
    3. What is a “correct” exposure?
    4. Understanding metering modes
    5. Reading a histogram
    6. Exposure Rule: Always get your exposure perfect
    7. Exposure Rule: Keep the tones even
    8. Break the Rule: High-key photography
    9. Break the Rule: Low-key photography
    10. Exposure Rule: Always use the lowest ISO possible
    11. Break the Rule: Shoot at high ISOs
  11. 3 Composition
    1. The rules of composition in photography
    2. The Rule: You must have a focal point
    3. Break the Rule: Embracing chaos
    4. The Rule: Keep the horizon straight
    5. Break the Rule: Wonky horizons
    6. The Rule: Photograph children at eye level
    7. Break the Rule: Climb up high; get down low
    8. The Rule: Use leading lines
    9. Break the Rule: Peaceful compositions
    10. The Rule: Use unusual viewpoints
    11. Break the Rule: Stick to the classics
    12. The Rule: Use natural frames
    13. Break the Rule: Know when to use frames
    14. The Rule: Always simplify your images
    15. Break the Rule: Capture complication
    16. The Rule: Give your subject space to move into
    17. Break the Rule: “Nearly missed you”
  12. 4 Advanced Composition Techniques
    1. The Rule: Use plain backgrounds
    2. Break the Rule: Use creative backgrounds
    3. The Rule: The rule of thirds
    4. Break the Rule: Breaking the rule of thirds
    5. The Rule: Don’t crop heads
    6. Break the Rule: Crop heads & get in close
    7. The Rule: Landscapes & maximized depth of field
    8. Break the Rule: Landscapes & shallow depth of field
    9. The Rule: Always get in close
    10. Break the Rule: Take a step back
    11. The Rule: Balance the elements of your composition
    12. Break the Rule: Creating unstable compositions
    13. The Rule: Keep your focal point in focus
    14. Break the Rule: Throw focus to the wind
    15. The Rule: Get your models to act natural
    16. Break the Rule: Go over the top
  13. 5 Photography Concepts
    1. The Rule: Plan your shoot
    2. Break the Rule: Go ad-hoc
    3. The Rule: Traveling for wildlife photography
    4. Break the Rule: Local wildlife
    5. The Rule: Use correct white balance
    6. Break the Rule: Bring on the off-white balance
    7. The Rule: Use blurred backgrounds
    8. Break the Rule: Keep everything beautifully sharp
    9. The Rule: Always use a tripod
    10. Break the Rule: Going legless
    11. The Rule: Keep foregrounds in focus
    12. Break the Rule: Playing with multi-layered images
    13. The Rule: Avoid camera shake
    14. Break the Rule: Give your camera a good rattle
    15. The Rule: Freezing motion with fast shutter speeds
    16. Break the Rule: Let it flow
    17. The Rule: Sharper is better
    18. Break the Rule: Embrace the blur
  14. 6 Lighting
    1. The Rule: Keep the sun behind you
    2. Break the Rule: Shoot into the sun
    3. The Rule: If it’s dark, use flash
    4. Break the Rule: Shooting in the dark
    5. The Rule: Higher contrast makes better photos
    6. Break the Rule: Low-contrast compositions
    7. The Rule: Use color to create mood
    8. Break the Rule: Mixed messages & muted colors
    9. The Rule: White balance your photos
    10. Break the Rule: Throwing white balance to the wind
  15. 7 The Rules of the Digital Darkroom
    1. The Rule: Use Adobe Photoshop
    2. Break the Rule: Photoshop alternatives
    3. The Rule: Never take back-ups
    4. The Rule: Always shoot in Raw
    5. Break the Rule: Not shooting in Raw
    6. The Rule: Stick to standard aspect ratios
    7. Break the Rule: Getting creative with aspect ratios
    8. The Rule: Keep saturation looking natural
    9. Break the Rule: Natural is for wimps—let saturation be your badge of pride
    10. The Rule: Converting your photos to black & white
    11. Break the Rule: Creatively converting your photos to black & white
    12. The Rule: Spot-editing your photographs
  16. 8 Reference
    1. Glossary
    2. Index