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Water Light – Canon 1DS Mk III, 1/1000 @f/8, 200mm, ISO 400

Rules, rules, rules. It seems like everywhere you turn these days there are rules. Rules to keep us safe, rules on running a business, rules for being a good parent, rules for being a “normal” member of society, and finally rules for making good images or a successful photograph.

Ansel Adams certainly clashed with the rules of his day, mainly that photography could never be a legitimage art form. Van Gogh paid dearly for his refusal to conform to the norms of art in his day. Leonardo Da Vinci still challenges some modern assumptions, and one that I’m particularly fond of, which is that it is difficult if not impossible to have multiple careers.

I get tired of rules in photography, everything from what gear you “need” to have, how to market your work effectively, where to show your work, and many other nuggets of wisdom.

The fact is I learned many of these rules after the fact, after I had realized I had broken them. Maybe that’s my nature, just jumping in the deep end and figuring out how to float. That’s not always a good strategy. and I’ve made many mistakes. But in this day and age, many are forging new, unique, and rule breaking ways to live their lives in a meaningful way. I want to be a part of that movement and that ideal.

I know I’ve lost focus because of rules, and I’ve had to think hard about how and why to ignore them.

Are there any “rules” limiting you and your work?

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