Shooting with constraints

The dictionary defines a constraint as “a limitation or restriction”. So why would we want to create our artwork with constraints? Many photographers, myself included, when we decide to go on a photo walk or other adventure pack our camera bag with a variety of lenses and maybe more than one camera body. As we begin creating our images we start to wonder what lens should I use? What focal length should I use? What aperture should I use? The list can go on forever. After a while this leads to “creative paralysis”.

Many photographers, David duChemin, among them that suggests that using constraints can be good for our creative soul. For example, if you decide to use a prime lens and a single camera then you can focus on creating your images instead of what camera gear you need to use.

On my walk today I decided to use my Lumix GX85 with a 25mm lens (50mm equivalent) and to shoot in black and white. This frees my mind for the important work of composition.


I am not claiming I created any masterpieces but I have a lot less excuses for the quality of my images

If you have some time take a look at David duChemin’s article: The  Power of Constraints. Another good article on the topic can be found here: How Creative Constraints Can Improve Your Photos

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