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Sunday, 05 July 2009


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59 is my favourite

In my opinion, #78 "wrong" is the better than #78 "right". I'm not sure I look like #78 "wrong", but I sure feel that way!

Cute. I've taken pictures like the wrong version of #74...

Funny. You're right, several of the "wrong" photographs are more interesting than the "right" photographs. I'm rather fond of #54, myself.

"#58 It's better not to photograph if you are drunk"
Well that does it I quit! ;)

I laughed out loud at 45 - I recently passed my camera to a (admittedly flakey) friend's mother, who broke that rule: "When you photography try to look in the viewfinder, not the lens".

Those are fantastic. I've closed the page, and I'm still chuckling.

I think he's wrong in a lot of them...I only had to get to number 7 before I had a problem. Maybe the key word here is "idiot." If you're an idiot, the chosen photo is the better one. If you're not an idiot, the "wrong" one is somewhat more likely to be correct.

I did kind of like the inane bikini girl photo with the big fingerprint on it. It was like one of those symbol dealios.

Actually there are quite a few of the wrongs that I like better.

I'm secretly hoping it's a hoax, for #36 is a tad unbelievable :)

If that's what I think it is, the magazine has an... interesting name.

rule 22. Why do onions need sidelight?
I like my onions lightly backlit with garlic.

Mike, I would have thought you'd go for 77: "Try to avoid from too high saturation".

is it bad that I like a lot of his "wrong" pictures better? or that I do a lot of the things he says not to? 78 rules is a lot. f/1.2 and be there is about all I've ever needed.

There has to be a lot more -- Like don't use a flash at a concert, etc. if your 300 feet away from the people singing.

If you haven't made at least one of these so called mistakes on purpose then you are not breaking the rules.

I give the guy credit for trying, but that's hilarious.

No. 58....
Well, I have taken many fine photos while drunk. The only problem is looking after the camera and flash all evening.
I know what I need. A nice, compact, quick to use camera, about 12 Megapixels.
In other words, a Drunken Moment Camera.

His photos are even funnier-- http://ivarsgravlejs.com/

I got you beat: I can remember *all* the women I've slept with!

I think the most important of the rules is the one about photographing onions in sidelight. The number of times I've messed that up!

It was the onions that made me lose it.

More seriously, this would be great fodder for discussion about when - and when not - to follow rules.

As Ansel Adams usually ignored Rule 30, does that mean that he was a complete idiot?

Yes, it reveals the usually unrevealed: the presence and influence of the photographer upon the subject, and, hence, the photograph. Well seen!

A funny tongue in cheek site. I like 58 as well as Mike's choice.


20 FTW, though the comments themselves are funnier. People get awfully serious about jokes.

Wonderful. My preference is split about 75%/25% in favor of the "wrong" ones. Might just make a project for myself (to make 78 'wrong' photos).

#58....aahhhh, all this time nobody told me.

Hard to argue with # 20 ...

Re: 47. Obviously he's not a Freidlander fan.

I kind of liked the wrong one in 5 as well (just the head, with a lot of the room above it), but that might just be my nostalgia for the Eugene Richards workshop exercise, where we had to sit across from our subject, and shoot a roll of film, without repeating ourselves.

I'm usually prepared when I come to TOP, knowing it's not a comedy site and I can let my guard down - but I almost spit my soda out on my monitor reading these. # 45: When you photograph try to look in the viewfinder not in the lens" CLASSIC!

I like 36 myself...

Good one.

Hard to argue with #20, though I'm sure there's a a horde of art students out there aching to prove him wrong even as we speak.

Hey - anyone check out the guy's site yet? It's absolutely hilarious. Check this out:


Rules that I have decided do not apply to me:

1, 4, 5, 7, 13, 16, 17, 19, 23, 27, 33, 39, 47, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 60, 63, 64, 68, 77, 78.

This must mean I'm not a complete idiot... right?

No, no, #52 :)

"If you want to photograph the flower, it's better to photograph the flower.

58: It's better not to photograph if you are drunk.


Writers seem to be a drinking lot. Famous writer and famous drunk are almost synonyms.

Are there well known photographers that are also known for their hard drinking?


Actually, I think those are very good 'guidelines' for the vast majority of pictures. Obviously he was being tongue-in-cheek and trying to show the so-called 'rules' have to be broken when you are trying to be creative.


I love quirky humor.

Also: useful illustrations if you were giving a friend a lesson in photography basics.

Most of these are crap! Most of the "Right" shots are also wrong. There is a reason why it is called "Portrait".

You do realize that this guy is something of a prankster (AKA art student)

"For two years “Useful advices for photographers” has been published in weekly Latvian cultural newspaper “Kulturas Forums”.

With this project I got my master’s degree in FAMU - Academy of Performing Arts in Prague"

He also perpetrated a prank on a newspaper in Prague makes the French art student story
of a couple days ago pale in comparison.

78 women? Impressive. Ever find "the one"?

"or 78 of the women I've slept with"

If you took all the girls I knew when I was single
And brought them all together for one night
You know they'd never match my sweet little imagination
And everything looks worse in black and white

I agree with you, #47 is a great shot. Who is he writing for - someone in grade school? Don't do this, or I'll take away your camera. He writes like we're all wayward children.

I think #77 is excellent simply because I see the two reversed so many times in online photography tutorials and examples.

"This must mean I'm not a complete idiot... right?"



It was humorous, but not nearly as humorous as all of the comments here which took it seriously.

Robert - I know! Clearly some people are incapable of reading things except in the most literal way possible. I mean, he even posted a note at the beginning that it was a joke!

#47 betters the comparable Friedlander, and to my horror, even suggests a whole genre of shadow interacting with the subject photos still to be made.

wrong isn't always right, right isn't always wrong, and the examples of idiocy are quite inspiring. Great link.


had to cough while reading the website name, gawno means crap or excrements in russian. I am a native russian speaker, but so are many where this guy lives, so calling his website "Gawno Magazine" is quite a brave statement

If you want photos of those interesting looking eastern european student girlies this is much quicker than trawling flickr.

But the best bit came at the bottom - a link to a page of old "electro buses" (in the UK we called them trolley buses), great stuff!

I never knew that was the best way to photograph sausage!

I'll bet none of you will ever look at a sausage again without thinking "rule 36".



Just when you thought there was nothing educational on the internet.

Very amusing!

This becomes even funnier if you know what means the name of the web site "Gawno" in most Eastern-European languages...

* My memory tops out at around 40-45.... You don't have to remember LAST names, right?

Mike, here's a #47, one of my favorite photos of all time, a Friedlander:


Please don't post this link until after you and I can buy vintage prints for ourselves!

I can't tell you how many times #36 has been a problem for me... Now I know what to do, and I won't eat the sausage out of frustration!

no 47 superb photo..!!!!

Here's something that might make a good topic for a future post:

I know, I violated my vow not to visit this site again today.

Er, perhaps there should be a No. 79:
Do not photograph when you are very, very tired. Or make comments here.
My comment about No. 58 should of course read that what I really need is a Drunken Moment Digital.

The most important one is not there!

"Not breaking any photography rules"

I thought it was a nice weird and funny link... :-)

Just one thing I find a little bit sad about this piece of satire.

If I went to a show of photography in some prestigious gallery I would not be at all surprised to find the two images in example number one hanging on the wall!

By the way, when did he add the "Alarma! Don't take it serious, please?"

This was actually pretty funny. Lots of classics in that list!

Then I tried to remember 78 classmates I slept with and it was not so funny anymore.

jamin wrote:

"rule 22. Why do onions need sidelight?
I like my onions lightly backlit with garlic."

If you backlight onions, your lens waters; keep the juices away by sidelighting

I like #72

"If you are photograph the nude, make sure the clothes are off"

The Sausage Rule #36 is revelatory. I now know where I've been going wrong all these years.

wait, 16 both are wrong on axis light sucks! and 18 the damn apple is upside down for crying out loud lol! more later i'm sure!

oh, its ok he's corrected himself in 22…

how can I write this without looking like a complete loser, idiot, or similar.

I actually quite like most of the "wrong" pictures more than the "right" pictures.

That being said, I guess I need to look somewhere else and start knitting as a hobby.

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