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There are plenty of photography rules, rules of thumb, and traditions that we adhere to almost religiously.
The rule of thirds is a prime example of this.
In many situations, it works great and helps us create better photos.
But just blindly following the rule of thirds for the sake of doing so can also prevent you from creating better photos.
So, sometimes you need to break the rule.
Here's a few examples of photography rules that need to be thrown out the window from time to time.
Breaking the Rules of Photography: Never Use a High ISO
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Back in the day, it was sage advice to keep your ISO as low as possible.
That's because the higher the ISO, the more grain that's introduced into your images.
Even a few years ago, many cameras couldn't accommodate high ISOs very well, but now, that's simply not the case.
Yes, you'll get a cleaner shot at ISO 100 than ISO 102400, but today's cameras can handle higher and higher ISOs.
So, push the ISO when needed, and stop worrying about it!
Photography Rules: Always Use a Tripod
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Is a tripod a good idea in most photography situations? You bet!
But is it an absolute all the time? Nope!
Obviously, a tripod helps stabilize your camera and keeps camera shake at bay.
But if you're taking photos of your kid's soccer game under sunny skies and you're using a fast shutter speed, a tripod isn't completely necessary.
What's more, sometimes using a tripod simply isn't a possibility, like inside museums.
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So, when having a tripod isn't possible, use a fast shutter speed to minimize the possibility of camera shake.
If you tune up the shutter speed and the image is dark, push the ISO to brighten it up.
If you find that your photos are blurry, find another means of supporting your camera, like resting your elbows on a fence or table.
The point is that there are lots of ways to stabilize your camera without using a tripod, so if you don't have a tripod with you, just get creative and keep shooting!
Photography Rules to Break: Carry Extra Gear
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If you're a wedding photographer, you need to have multiple cameras, multiple lenses, a bag of batteries and memory cards, and so on. That's just a fact.
But for most of us, most of the time all we need is one camera body, one or two lenses, and accessories like memory cards and batteries, and we're good to go.
Yet, how often do you pack for a trip and end up taking every single lens you own? I do it all the time...
Breaking the tradition of packing everything but the kitchen sink can be difficult to do, but there is definitely something to working lean and mean.
Photo by Brandon Burk
When I want to be free of all the clutter of my gear, I force myself to pare my kit down by limiting how much I can carry.
For that, I turn to my new Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo.
This rig was purpose-built for single-camera shooters. That means that you can only carry one camera with a lens attached - not all three of your cameras with multiple lenses for each!
It can be a little intimidating at first to have a bare-bones setup, but trust me, after the first couple of times you go out to shoot with the bare essentials, you'll learn to love working in this way.
Photo by Brandon Burk
What makes it even better is that the MoneyMaker Solo is so stinking comfortable.
There's no moving around of the shoulder strap thanks to the stabilizer strap that keeps it in place.
Speaking of keeping things in place...
The MoneyMaker Solo also comes with a belt anchor, that way your camera stays right next to your body when you're not using it, and when you need it to take a shot, you can unclip it one-handed, raise your camera to your eye, and get the shots you want.
This thing looks amazing, too, so it's really the best of form meets function!
Photo by Brandon Burk
On top of all that, it's a modular system that works with Holdfast's cell phone pouch and lens pouches.
That means that you can carry your phone right at your fingertips while being hands free.
That also means that if you want to bring along a spare lens, you can do so easily by adding a lens pouch to the MoneyMaker Solo.
Holdfast really has thought of everything with this camera strap. It's incredibly functional, beautifully made, and highly durable. What's not to like about that?!
Rules of Photography: Pros Only Use Manual Mode
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Let's be clear...
The notion that professionals only shoot in manual mode is simply not true!
Yes, pros often shoot in manual mode, but they also often use aperture priority, shutter priority, and program modes as well.
If you're not a professional, these modes are even more handy because they give you more control over the camera than shooting in full auto, but without all the pressure of shooting in full manual mode.
So, if you're looking for a way to improve your photography and become more knowledgeable, learn more about these semi-automatic modes and how they can help you take better photos.