Weekly theme 2nd December - Creative restrictions


(Helen Hooker) #1

Hello everyone. I extended our last theme for another week last week as we’d had so few entries. However, there was evidently a shortage of weather as we still only ended up with five entries! I’ll announce the winner later, but for now let’s get on and set a new theme for the coming week.

This week’s theme is Creative restrictions

One of the tips we’re often given to help our photography is to set ourselves a creative restriction. Putting a limit on the tools and techniques we can use will often make us work harder and result in more creative images. The restriction you set for yourself could be one of many things, so let’s take a look at the possibilities….

Many of you will be aware that I’m currently working on a project where I make myself shoot with just a prime lens. I’ll use one focal length for a month and then ring the changes with a different one. During November my chosen prime was a 25mm f1.4 (the equivalent of a nifty fifty in full frame terms) and I’m now moving on to a longer focal length for December. I find that using a prime lens makes me think more about my compositions and I end up taking better photos as a result. Here’s one that came from my month’s work, during a trip to Rainham Hall.

So what other creative restrictions could you give yourself? You could perhaps set the picture style in your camera to monochrome and make yourself see in black and white for the day. Or perhaps shoot with a particular aspect ratio in mind. You might be able to set this in camera, or compose in the standard format and crop them to your chosen ratio later. I did this during a camera club walk over the summer, making myself shoot in mono and square all evening.

How about some other creative restrictions? Here are a few to what your appetite…

Chose one aperture to shoot at - you could shoot wide open and use the shallow depth of field to give a sense of depth to your pictures and isolate your subject.

Restrict yourself to one subject for the day. On this occasion I made myself look for triangles to shoot during a walk around our village.

Another option is to confine yourself to one point of view - that could up high, or even a worm’s eye view of the world. We often get into the habit of always shooting from head height so a different angle can really change your picture. Getting right down into the grass to photograph this Scottish Wildcat gave me a much more intimate picture than if I’d shot from above.

So there you have a selection of possibilities. Now it’s your turn to give yourself a creative restriction and go out and shoot. It doesn’t matter what restriction you pick, but do tell us what you decided on when you share your photo with us. I can’t wait to see what we all come up with this week!

How to participate:

  • Please submit your photo by midnight GMT on Sunday 8th December.
  • To submit a photo, hit the Reply button below and upload your image(s). Please limit each post to one image.
  • Please try to also share your picture on your page over the main Photoblog platform and encourage others to visit the theme thread to participate and vote.
  • To vote, click the :heart: heart icon.
  • If you post your picture early in the week, don’t forget to pop back to see what others have shared and to cast your votes!

Winner of the last theme

Our winner for the weather theme was @popparatzee with his wonderful snow covered scene. I can feel the cold temperature from here - brrrr! Congratulations Ken!


(Berckmans Peter) #2


I restric myself many times by going out with just one lens.and try to make it work. This is done with my 12mm f2.0, wich is a lot of time on my camera. Normally I use it a lot for city scenes or architecture, but here decided to give it a try in nature.


(Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue) #3

My creative restructions are not self-inflicted. I have often only half an hour to go for a photo walk. Most days I run (!) out of the house and try to catch the last light.


(Gary Luker) #4

Well, I now have a new camera and as part of the learning process for this camera, I have always wanted to know more about using the Manual Mode, so I have been practicing that and decided to submit a photo here with the restriction of using Manual, which is new to me. I caught my favorite subject, Coco, snoozing:)