How important is it to practice religiously, everything that we have learned through the course of our education? What if we had a vision that we believe to be groundbreaking, but in order to achieve it, we need to bend some rules? What if something along those things we learned, we encounter something that defies our values? Should we follow blindly just because we are taught the "proper" way to do things? When is the right time to bend the rules for the purpose of fully realizing our vision?
Five years ago, I received my first camera as a gift for my graduation from college. I was so excited; I was taking photos of almost everything, anywhere and anyway I can. After some time, I found my photos pale compared to others. I realized that even though my camera was good, I still needed to learn how to use it properly. Self-teaching from the internet just wouldn't cut it for me anymore, and I knew that I needed to learn from the best. Because of that, I took a crash course in basic photography from a well-known instructor. I loved the whole experience and learned so many things like how to handle my camera properly, basic composition, lighting, equipment of the trade, and basic post processing. And yet, as I was practicing everything that I learned from the workshop, I can't help but still find that some of the photos I took after were as dull as the photos I took before learning the basics. Technically speaking, they were better, but still didn't convey the message I was trying to express in my photos. I addressed all of my concerns to my instructor, and after listening, he simply smiled and told me the reasons as to why I still found my photos lacking.
It seemed that I have been religiously following all the basic principles on taking photos, and because of that, I sacrificed my vision. My instructor told me that the things he taught are just guidelines, so that we know how to properly take any photos. If for some reason the rules get in the way of my vision, the thing I should do is to identify that which hinders it from being fully realized. I should prioritize my ideas, and if the rules get in the way, I should learn how to bend or break them if necessary.
Now that I think about it, education is merely a guideline. It is up to us to incorporate which things we want in our lives, and which should be kept out. There are things that we learn whose purpose is simply to keep us from being ignorant. And there are those that we must simply apply to get us to the next level of knowing.