Photography is a simple concept – all the photographer needs to understand is how to control brightness through a combination of camera settings. Learning how to frame the world in a way that is exciting or thoughtful, giving a glimpse into your creative vision – that’s more difficult. The process of honing your own style takes practice and experience, until you start to instinctively know which approaches will suit a situation.
There’s a formulaic approach that many of us adopt when learning the key photographic skills (think, the rule of thirds or the exposure triangle). While these rules are helpful guidelines to get us started and get ti grips with the basics, it’s easy to become unwilling to try new ideas and think outside the box.
The rules of photography rarely encourage imaginative thinking, instead leading many new image makers to follow an inflexible procedure for the creation of every image they shoot. Rather than being commandments, we see the rules as a means of applying a core recipe to any situation.
Read more: The best cameras for photography
The standardized rules give you a fantastic starting point from which to experiment and be creative, but here we want to encourage you to take a stepping stone beyond them into your own artistic – and arguably free – thinking.
In the image below, we've suggested ten ways to explore each area of camera control and question how appropriate the preconceived ideas are to image making. Why not save it onto your phone roll and refer back to it later?
What are the best camera lenses to buy
Photography cheat sheets
The best professional cameras