habit zero #075

the challenge


It’s a seempli open challenge day here at Habit Zero, which means we are just looking for interesting Insights to capture and reflect on — no Seed, no association. The world is our inspiration.

But let’s add to that a simple constraint: the Insight we capture should be in black and white.

my insight




We had quite a few opportunities to discuss and show how constraints boost creativity. Today, I would like to focus on the specific constraint I played with: expressing the Insight with only two colors.

So, the first thing you realize when you look deeply at the Insight I captured, is that it includes numerous colors. An infinite spectrum of grays add drama to this scene. What started as a technical limitation soon became the heart and soul of this photo.

I also love how the black and white tones create a dialogue with the objects in the photo: snow is white, winter is dark, and the two play together so nicely with the colors on the wall.

Now, this is not a photography blog, so you might wonder what does this reflection have to with creativity. Here’s the thing: none of this was planned. I just flowed with the constraint. I embraced it. But then something else happened: I leveraged it.

You see, it not just that the constraint helped me find an Insight. The constraint made it more interesting. It became the essence of the Insight. I could have easily captured this photo and leave it with its original colors if the constraint hadn’t forced me to transform it to black and white. And in retrospect that would have been a miss.

The black and white result is much more beautiful and has a greater depth than the original. And it was the arbitrary constraint added to this exercise that made all the difference.

mental notes


  • Adding constraints, even arbitrary ones, can spice up your creative Insights. They can open a new world of options.
  • Try adding made-up constraints to challenges you need to address.

now it is your turn… be creative!



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