What comes after shutter speeds, f-stops and the rule of thirds?


The act of photography is inherently creative. I suppose it’s a fact that is easily lost in this digital age – where once, unexposed film was exposed to the light, then processed and often printed. You then had something physically in your hands to show for it, a negative, and slide, and/or a print. Something was created. Now, with digital photography, the images that don’t get deleted before they leave the camera, get stored on a computer somewhere, a series of 1’s and 0’s, difficult to imagine as some thing. But what do we create when we make a photograph? Organization of visual elements, information – a communication (hopefully), an emotion.

In my own photography, while I feel I have made strides in the last few years, I don’t feel I am as creative as I could be. Each time I take on a project, I seem to produce images quite similar to ones I have already seem before. On the one hand, I am happy to be gaining the skills to be able to produce images similar to ones I admire. But, on the other hand, I’d like to stretch further, to begin to find a vocabulary of my own. I suppose I’m looking for the same sense of discovery, now, through the camera, as I’ve had about the camera over the last few years.

So, I hope to foster a discussion about creativity in photography. What comes after shutter speeds, f-stops and the rule of thirds?

3 Responses to “What comes after shutter speeds, f-stops and the rule of thirds?”

  1. May 19, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    What comes after shutter speeds, f-stops and the rule of thirds?

    The Rule of Fourths. Seriously.

    Or how about No Rules? I hate rules, they hamper rather than aid creativity. But what makes creativity start flowing is being uncomfortable. No great Art was ever created by a comfortable mind.

    What it means to be uncomfortable is something you’ll have to figure out for yourself, because different things make different people uncomfortable.

  2. May 20, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Hey Miz! Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment!

    I know many people who feel the same about “rules”. And, sure, being bound too tightly to any set of rules will have a uncreative result. On the other hand, most “rules” are the guidelines that create structure. Without structure, your images would be caotic. Knowing when to depart from these rules, and knowing which ones to cede are the real tricks. Admittedly, though, sticking too close to the rule of thirds is probably one element to the stactic I’m feeling within my photography.

    Interesting idea about “being uncomfortable”. Depending on how broadly you meant to paint with that brush, I could find a lot to support the idea. Perhaps this can be a place for me and all of my followers (yep, all 3 of you) to explore what ‘having an uncomfortable mind’ (in terms of photography) means to each of us…


  3. June 19, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I just keep taking photos and hope the rest will come. Regarding the o’s and 1’s – I use digital and film and I pay to develop my best photo (of each format) at the end of each month, so I do end up with something nice to fondle. I use digital 90% of the time – but its good to slow down with film now and again, if for no other reason than to appreciate the benefits of shooting digital.

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May 2010


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