27 Photos That Break All the Composition Rules but Still Rock


Composition is one of the foundations of photography, coupled with light, it pretty much is photography.  There are tons of composition rules such as the rule of thirds or the s curve, but rules are meant to be broken! We think these photos break the rules, but still rock!

Photo by Tuấn Kiệt Jr.

Yellow. Stairs. (2)

Photo by jonas_k


Photo by Ramón Peco

Photo by Rose Léon

Photo by Zolashine | Photography

Jungle Gym

Photo by MPBecker

out of the storm

Photo by Joel Bedford


Photo by Stuck in Customs

Photo by clickykbd


Photo by slimmer_jimmer

Beyond the wall

Photo by Giuseppe Bognanni

Freedom Land | ?????? ?????

Photo by Recovering Sick Soul

On a Scooter in NYC

Photo by Rodrigo Cayo (DREAM)

Photo by Kaique Rocha

Photo by Lukas

The Barn in the Setting Sun

Photo by CaptPiper

Photo by mycaptureoftime

i use my tail as a rudder

Photo by mccun934

Photo by mycaptureoftime

the railing

Photo by scmtngirl


Photo by Al001

The split-field of a blue/green Infinity - Diego Garcia

Photo by Sushicam

The Lonely Trinity

Photo by Stuck in Customs

Photo by Kourosh Qaffari

Photo by Artem Beliaikin


Photo by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

DAY 27/365: Beaten, But Not Defeated

Photo by dcosand

About Author

is a professional photographer. See his site at Mike Panic Photography.

I’m sorry to have to say this, but you’re going to have to explain to me how 90% of these “Break All The Composition Rules”. There are about 3 that break the “Rules of Composition” in my opinion, but by and large these are good examples of EFFECTIVE use of the rules of composition like the Rule of 3rds, Lines, Pattern, etc. Many of these seem to just be interesting angles and juxtapositions, but almost NONE of them “Break The Rules”.

While you may be right about the rule of thirds, there are other unusual composition in the photos that is a tad unusual, like shooting from way below or high above.

Most composition tutorials (or photographers for that matter) will tell you to shoot from unusual perspectives in order to make a photograph interesting. That has nothing to do with breaking rules at all.

I would enjoy seeing your comments for each individual photograph. I was expecting to learn from this, but became confused as I could clearly see the rules of composition in place.

Please tell us what rules are being broken. Just showing the pictures, as good as they are, really tells us nothing. If you are trying to teach us something, you’ll need to provide some actual information.


I agree with Mike Wilson and SirCake. It would be great if you could explain what rules are being broken. And, I think these “rules” are only guidelines and don’t have to be followed. I found that most of the pics are awesome!

Article should have been titled, “How to Creatively bend the Rule of Thirds.” That is what most of these images did. They didn’t, for the most part, “break” any rules–at least the rules I’ve been taught. They do rock. Some really good ideas.

I kept scrolling with the expectation that the next one may break any rules.. all snaps are good .. no offense.. but none breaks “All” composition rules

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