I was invited to participate in a 30-day photo challenge wherein the participants were asked to photograph and upload one photo a day based on a word prompt.

In the past, I’ve done similar projects and it’s a great idea for the rare times I have “nothing” to photograph.

I made the project more challenging for myself by shooting everything in manual mode, I used .jpeg format instead of RAW, I limited myself to one camera and one lens and absolutely no post-processing or cropping; basically a straight out of camera image with all its flaws.

This is not a big deal for some, but most photographers use a DSLR or a mirrorless camera because we don’t like limitations when it comes to our photography. We know the benefits of using a variety of lenses and focal lengths, so when faced with using one camera and lens, it can be frustrating.

As mentioned, it was a self-imposed rule because I like being frustrated. It also forced me to be more creative.

Red Velvet Cupcake

I was forced to get the photo right in-camera rather than in post-processing; I was forced to find subjects that complemented the lens I was using; I was forced to move and shoot around my subject for better composition, and I was forced to use accessories that allowed me to focus on my subject.

I also learned a few things. I learned to use features on my camera I never would have used before; I learned to take my time and not “spray and pray” my camera at subjects; I learned that full manual mode is not complicated, but liberating once it became a habit.

I enjoyed the challenge, but when the project was over it felt great to use my other cameras and lenses. I like variety, but once in a while, there’s nothing wrong with limitations.

My main “problem” was turning the camera on and it not being “ready” to take a photo, but overall it was a learning experience even if at times I was frustrated. I would do it again, but probably not for an entire month.

So if you find yourself out of photo ideas, try a photo challenge, whether it be to photograph a single color a day, a 30-day challenge, a 52-week challenge or even a 365-day challenge to jump start your creativity. No doubt you’ll discover by limiting your options you’ll increase your possibilities.

Stay tuned. Next month I will post 15 word prompts for you to photograph and upload here, to my Facebook page or my Flickr group. Happy shooting.

City Lights

All images were shot with an Olympus EM-5 and an Olympus 45mm lens.


2 thoughts on “Projects and Limitations

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