PhotoClub Challenge: Self-Portrait

Are you out of ideas? Check in here on Mondays for a weekly 7-day photography challenge to get your vision roaming!

Each week the challenge requires that you take 36 images during the following 7 days. Your deadline is always next Monday morning for the current week’s challenge. The challenges might be thought provoking, might be silly, and could even be tedious.

The purpose of taking thirty-six images – equivalent to one roll of film – rather than just one or two images, is that thirty-six forces you sit with the project, rework it, rethink it, conceptualize it during the week. Your first or second image might be good, but when you create all thirty-six images of one challenge/assignment, you’ll begin to see little things that might make you want to move in another direction.

Use your camera as the cropping tool.
Don’t waste your pixels! Another point of the challenge is to get down and tight with taking images, using your camera as a cropping tool, rather than cropping images after taking them, during processing. None of the weekly subjects will have broad sweeping images as a response … Think of it this way, it’s not so much to have a window or a door or an arch *in* the photograph as it is to have the photographs be *of* the subject of the challenge.

Taking one or two images for the weekly assignment may complete it, but thinking about the project for seven days and taking thirty-six images will allow you to deeply explore it.

Once you’ve taken the images, upload a few of your favorites to the PhotoClub Challenge: Self Portrait Forum in the Shutterbugs Group – or – load them into a gallery on your blog and come back to that challenge’s post and post the link to your gallery post in the comments below by the following Monday!

Oh, at this point, this project is not about being adept at using PhotoShop. Basic manipulation of the images is ok – auto levels, curves, contrast, color correction when needed – but these projects are more about mental focus, creating discipline, getting control of composition, meeting deadlines, and learning to use your camera as the canvas and the cropping tool.

* * * * *

You might think I’m starting you off easy, but, think again!

The first assignment-challenge in PhotoClub is to take 36 images of yourself – WITHOUT your self in any of the images. The goal is to get one photograph, again, without you in it, that represents you in some way. Out of the 36 images, there should be one (or more) images that if I, or other members of the group, looked at it, we’d be able to know a little bit about you. The images should be a visual statement of who you are.

Images can be in color or black and white.

Read through the PhotoClub description above to make sure you get why you are doing the challenge. Make sure that the composition of your images are 100% about the challenge.

Use your camera as the cropping tool and post full/uncropped images.

I’ve noticed in the past that people have a really difficult time with this challenge. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Sure, it’s nice if you go deep, but you can swim on the shallow end as well.

The challenge is 36 Self-Portrait studies as the main subject in the photographs, all taken in the next 7-days and posted in a gallery on your blog or web site by next Monday. Post the link to the gallery below by commenting on this post and we’ll come over and comment on what we see, how and if, it visually answered the challenge.

Always experiment with variations on the weekly theme within the subjects of the challenge – composition, contrast, shape, texture, colors, shadow …

Remember: These are not images that just happen to be willy-nilly about you, but rather they are images, or rather intentional studies, *of* you. It’s all about intention.

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