Breaking the Rules
Hi again. Sometimes we need to break the rules a bit to get the mood or feeling that we are looking for. I love a great technical photograph. Where the zone system is correctly applied and each zone is faithfully represented with detail in the image, truly I do but I also love a moody, emotional image as well and sometimes to go for the mood one must throw caution to the wind and go for it.
The image above is of a hallway next to the concert area in the Crystal Ballroom in Portland. This venue has a long and interesting history of concerts that began with great big name bands even before the place opened. People squatted in the old abandon building and found a way to have concerts there in the sixties and early seventies. It was a great time.
In the shot above I wanted to try and convey a bit of what I felt as I walked down this hallway with my wife Darla and a great Vocalist, Kate Morrison. I am going to refrain from trying to explain that feeling because that would detract from any feeling the viewer might have. For art really is less about the artist conveying feelings than it is about those feelings the viewer might have that are born out of their life experiences. So from now on I will just talk about the technical or maybe lack of technical aspects of this photograph.
The lights are blown out, too light they are off the zone system scale. Technically they are poorly exposed. The blacks are the same, no detail in places again poorly done. The rule of thirds is pretty much broken but I did manage to get some leading lines. If however I would have exposed it correctly which would have been hard given the dark room and bright lights I would have had a gray photograph that may have worked but would not have had the impact that is created by the "incorrect" exposure used here.
So what I really am saying is that exposure as long as it gets across what you want really is never incorrect it is taste and feeling that dictates it. One does however want to know how to do correct exposure and understand the value thereof so when the time comes to ignore it, it can be done intelligently with an end in mind.
So really if you visualize an image and then expose and achieve that image I guess that the exposure would then become correct no matter how many rules it breaks.
Lastly when shooting for yourself, you are the only one that you really need to appreciate the image.
Keywords: Feelings., Mood, Photography, System, Zone, blacks, darks, exposure, images, lights, whites
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