“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Pablo Picasso

We come to the last of the hints and tips for absolute beginners – ideas that can be used with any camera from a phone cam to a DSLR and beyond.

Hints and tips are sometimes called ‘rules’ – they’re not but they are very helpful. I see them as a framework upon which to build your own style and develop your own ideas.

Consider this simple analogy:

You are asked to cook a specific meal, you’re told the name of the dish but it means nothing to you. You could try but the likelihood is that you’re gonna screw up.

Next you’re given a list of ingredients and a method. This time you could probably have a stab at it and produce a reasonable facsimile – might even taste pretty good.

At this point, you might reasonably start to make some tweaks to the recipe in order to make it more to your liking – some might work and some might not – you’re experimenting.

As you continue to experiment you come to understand what each ingredient bring to the the dish and how each part of the technique impacts on the final outcome. Now that you have skills, knowledge and understanding you can set out to create dishes with specific flavours, textures and appearances. You can go your own way with confidence.

So it is with photography – with these tips and hints you have a basic framework. As you use them you begin to understand how each influences the outcome and how they interact with each other. Now you can make some choices – use the basic ideas to a greater or lesser extent or not at all.

So, the final piece of advice.

Know and understand the ‘hints & tips’ but don’t be constrained by them.

Use what you’ve learned to achieve the image you see in your mind’s eye and convey the emotions your feel.

Experiment and be willing to fail.

Take the first step – start your own journey.

……. and remember, I want to see your photographs. Post them on Voxtips Window and join in the discussion. This is just the beginning – you may not know where this journey will take you but I guarantee you’ll have fun on the way.


I wish you good shooting and watch out for more Voxtips.




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