Rules are generally meant to be followed, but sometimes in life rules should be broken! In photography there are lots...and I mean lots, of rules. The rule of thirds, the rule of leading lines, rules for creating proper contrast, proper exposure, this, that, the all the other. In nearly 90% of my work, I execute and follow these rules precisely. Today however, I stumbled across this image I took circa 2010 in San Diego. This is my daughter, (10 then) hanging upside down on a playground swing. Like I do every month, I re-cull through old sessions/images and delete what I deem unworthy of keeping. As I grow in my skill it has become easier and easier to discard images that at one point I was so proud of.
Normally this image would have gone straight to the trash. The triangle shadow on her face alone is enough to dump it. The background is a nasty beat up blue playground protection padding, and her face was flush red with all her blood following gravity!
I took another look. An honest look, and I could not get over those eye lashes!!! (yes she get's those beauties from me!) So I decided to ignore all the reasonable facts that would justify throwing this image out. I applied a Red Leaf, Fernwey B&W preset which really made the contrast pop! I adjusted the highlights to recover her washed out skin and brought the shadows down.
After giving this image a little TLC am find myself so thankful I took a second look! That I ignored all the "rules" and went with my heart. I look at this image now, and not only does it make me smile with warm memories, it so brings out my daughter's bubbling personality!
Below is the original. It's not hard to see why one would discard this image.