We all know that photography has many “rules” and learning them is how most beginners start, applying the right rules to photographs to make them look professional.
Science or Art
Some photographers become so caught up in rules that their photography is science rather than art. When they take a picture, they try to apply every rule rather than using some or breaking them to express their ideas. Technically, they are perfect, but without the artistic expression of ideas, their photographs have no soul. If you want to become a unique and top-level photographer, you will need to think backwards: Be clear about the real reason you first picked up a camera, then you use some of the rules (or break them) to express that very reason.
This way, you will never become a slave of rules; rather, you will be their master and learn to use them to your own advantage. Therefore, the ultimate rule is neither the abused rule of thirds or leading lines; rather, the main idea, the subject and the focal point. Only then you will know where to stand, and naturally, skillfully and effectively use the rules or break them in order to express your idea. The final product will be not only professional, but will also have impact, lead your viewer’s eyes to your intended subject, focal point, and immerse the viewer in the mood you wanted to create.
Setting yourself free is not simple, but neither is it technically difficult. You need to unleash yourself from rules, and use them to your advantage or simply ignore them. To do so, you may need an artistic eye (but you can train one) as well as practise and more practise.