About 3 years ago I splashed out and bought myself a DSLR camera. Whilst the shiny new camera had a point-and-shoot mode I got stuck in and started using the manual settings, playing with the aperture, focus, shutter speed and white balance. After a while I felt I wasn’t getting the results I was hoping for and I started scouring the forums and photography websites to find out what I should be doing and came across the following advice:
At first, play with all the settings, see what they do, see how they work together, take as many photos as you can. Try and work out why some work and why some don’t. Then, when you want to move on to the next level, set aside some time (say, a couple of hours, half a day) to go out and take photographs. During that time you’re only allowed to press the shutter button a maximum of 5 times. 5 exposures. No more.
The quote is heavily paraphrased (or possibly pulled from multiple sources) as I can’t remember exactly where I read it, but the intent is the same: introduce a constraint into the way you work to make you think about things differently. In the above case it’s simulating the constraint of having a physical film camera, replacing the seemingly infinite memory cards, forcing you to consider the settings, light, position, angle, white balance and focus before you commit to pressing the button. There’s a small amount of punishment (waste of film, one less photo to take) if it doesn’t work out. It changes the way you think.
So, what if you could only tweet positive things? What if you only tweet without using the letter ‘e’? What if you could only tweet 5 times a day?