Take a photo that applies at least three, if not all of the Rules/Non-Rules mentioned. So you photo could incorporate straight horizons, Rule of Thirds, space, lack of distractions, closer, odd numbers,
This ragged rook modelled patiently, and allowed me to get up reasonably close. His eye and beak are on the upper horizontal thirds line, and there are no distracting background elements. Isn't he gorgeous? I'll bet he has a story to tell.
It is okay to break the rules, but do it consciously and with artistic intent. Here's one I tried, and failed horribly.
My intention was to get the gulls looking at each other to make an interesting composition. But it just doesn't work as a good image because I didn't pay attention to any of the rules. For starters, not an even number. While the gulls are sort of near a third line they are off balance. The rock creates an artificial horizon and the way it slopes away is awkward to look it. The bright spots in the sea - particularly the one under the gull - are distracting. I'm too far away and I haven't used the negative space effectively.
This is a good example of what not to do!
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