Photo of a clock under tungsten lightingI have done a few posts on the rules of photography such as how various composition methods from leading lines to framing an image are designed to make a more visually pleasing image.  One key point I believe is important with all the rules of photography is that you have to know how and when to break them.

I am participating in a 365 Photo Project hosted by Faded and Blurred.  One of my recent images was taken under tungsten lighting and I did not adjust the white balance settings in the camera to compensate for the yellowish/orange glow that is omitted by normal household bulbs.  Nor did I do any post processing work to make it “right.”  This elicited some comments that the white balance was “not right.”  From a purely technical standpoint I totally agree with the commenter.  This image is not “correct” according to the rules of white balance.  However, as photographers, amateur or professional, we have the benefit of “artistic license.”

Artistic License – the freedom to create an artwork, musical work, or piece of writing based on the artist’s interpretation and mainly for effect.

I intentionally left the orange glow given off by the tungsten lighting of the room because I felt it resulted in the image that I was looking to create.  It sets a mood and more accurately reflects the true setting of the scene.

The constructive criticism that you get from fellow photographers when sharing your photographs on sites such as Flickr is a huge benefit.  So I do not object to one of my images being interpreted as being “not right.”  But I stand behind my  belief that as long as I know and can follow the rules of photography I am free to break those rules to interpret a scene or subject and create an image with my creativity added.  But you do have to have a base understanding of what you are doing before you are free to deviate.

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