Nearly every morning as I sit at our kitchen island counter sipping coffee and having a breakfast-like nibble, I steer my iPad to my "regular" rota of a handful of photo sites.
One of my regular stops along the way is the site, DON'T TAKE PICTURES. The site is dedicated to showcasing pictures which are, for the most part, straight photography. That written, the site has a regular feature, RULE BREAKERS, along the theme of ...
..."I never want to see another picture of ________.” Industry veterans share their pet peeves on themes in contemporary photography. In this series they present their “rule” along with five photographs that break the rule in an effort to show that great work is the exception to the rule."
The site is one of my "regulars" simply because I am in constant search of pictures which "break the rules". Or, as Elliott Erwitt has written:
"To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."
Or, as Brooks Jensen wrote
"Most people see good pictures and photograph bad ones. Real photography begins when we let go of what we have been told is a good photograph and start photographing what we see"
My morning rota is just a handful of sites because I find that there are-or seem to be-precious few picture makers out there who are "breaking the rules" / "photographing what they see". Maybe I'm not trying hard enough to find them but it seems that even most "serious" picture makers just can't break out of the box.
I have my suspicion as to why that is ... the lack of imagination / confidence to let go of the rules. I think of it as a kinda pandering to the masses or what could be labeled as the conventional taste(s) of the masses. After all, if one is looking for lots of "likes", playing it safe is the way to go.