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Am I allowed to do that?

Here is a question I often here in my photo workshops: can I do that? Am I allowed?

blacm and white portrait of a Vietnamese fisherman smoking a cigarette

Do you think I will not let you keep this photo because:

– rule of thirds does not apply

– your subject is looking into the frame

– your subject is not in focus

– your subject is looking away

– you can’t find any rules that you learned into that photo?


My answer is simple: do you like this photo? Does it talk to you? Do you feel it is a keeper?

Well then, you got your answer!

Rules are made to be broken, and please do so, unless you want to be taking the same photos forever!

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Founder of Pics of Asia, Etienne is a teacher with a photography habit.


  1. Susan Moss on March 29, 2014 at 10:45 am

    You make such good sense Etienne!

  2. Maxi on April 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Es una realidad, las reglas estan hechas para romperlas!!!

  3. Dr Harimohan on April 4, 2014 at 12:10 am

    thats one piece of sensible advice i have heard after a long time and your photos speak for it

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