“When I teach my students to not only embrace their constraints, but to pursue them, by choosing only one lens, only one subject or theme, they find it immediately liberating, and their work becomes more creative.”

-David duChemin

When I am not at work or spending time with my family and friends, I am doing something related to photography.  I am constantly working hard to improve my knowledge, skills, and capabilities.  I read books, attend workshops, and take courses online.

I have taken two online courses created by

David duCheminThe Compelling Frame and The Traveling Lens.  Both courses were outstanding.

David created an online community for those who have taken his courses and/or attended his workshops.  This online community is unlike any other that I have experienced on the web.  It is a nurturing place to truly grow and be supported by David and all of the members of this community.  Members support each other, make suggestions, and help in a caring manner.  David set the tone for the community and it is an amazing place to spend time learning with and from fellow creative people.

David is extremely active in this community and posts challenges and suggestions to help all in the community.

Last week, after making one of my spring visits to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, I posted this image.


Included in David’s kind comment about this image, he suggested going back to make a twelve- image series of the parrots.

This was the first time I had seen a parrot out of its cage at Magnolia, so instead of doing a series of parrots there, I decided to do my series of the peacocks because I knew I could access them.

Since I absolutely love to photograph peacocks, the challenge was really to get some images unlike any of the peacock images that I had created before.  Although I do have some in the series that are not far from what I have done in the past, there are images that I never would have even considered making without this “assignment”.

Here are the twelve images I created Sunday of the peacocks at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.



Side View


Side View Two

Just One


Rolling Hills

Neat Feet

Looking At You

Black and White

The Composite

I am very thankful for David’s suggestion to use constraints to create this 12-image series.  I know that I grew while creating this series.  I also know that I will look for further opportunities to work in this manner!

If you are ever considering taking one of David’s classes or purchasing one of his books, I highly recommend that you do!  I hope someday to have the opportunity to attend one of his workshops!


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Comments (12)

  1. Mary , The peacock work is so beautiful.Seeing the difference our creative mind can find in those outstanding captures.
    Berrie Smith

    1. Thank you, kindly, Berrie!

  2. Mary, this is great! Wonderful series of images. I have been a fan of David for years. He is so thought provoking. For reasons I don’t even know I somehow have slipped away from following him or staying current with him. You just inspired me to get back in his world. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Karen! So glad to hear this helped you!

  3. It takes a good eye to do this Mary and you certainly have one.

    1. Many thanks, Dan!

  4. So well done Mary. What were your constraints?
    What a wonderful community it is. I learn so much from paying attention to other members I feel lucky that it exists and that we are part of it.

    1. Thank you, Peter! It is an amazing and supportive community! For this series, my constraint was one subject, the peacocks. For all except one of the images, I used one lens.

  5. Beautiful work, Mary. I’m certain it was a lot of fun to create this series. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Bill! I did enjoy the day, but it is difficult to not enjoy a day at Magnolia!

  6. These are stunningly beautiful images! Very creative compositions.

    1. Thank you, Nancy!

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