Photo Challenge Week 9 Recap: Artistic Selfies

Wow, I can’t believe we’ve made it all the way to the end of the Photo Challenge – what an amazing nine weeks it has been! I hope you have all enjoyed the Challenge, and learned a thing or two along the way.

In this final week, it was fun to finally get a chance to put some faces with the names and the photos I’ve been seeing over the past nine weeks. Of course, as you were all trying very hard to be artistic, the faces you have shown us haven’t always been literal representations of your true physical appearances. And that’s a good thing! Not because we don’t want to see what you really look like, but because the key to making successful art is to step past the literal and to embrace the abstract instead.

With that in mind, I’ve picked five photos from this week’s assignment that I think exemplify what I’ve been pushing you all to do during the entire Photo Challenge: to learn to see things not as they are, but for what else they can become when they are unlocked, unbounded, and transformed by your creativity.

This week’s best shots

Vitor Azinheira submitted this wonderful photo that immediately caught my eye. He used his silhouette to break up what was otherwise a perfectly symmetrical composition, adding energy to the design. Vitor used himself as an abstract element of the overall composition: a subtle touch, but one that was necessary to the success of this image.

Andrew Kartende’s submission cleverly messes with people’s perceptions. A good photo will invite the viewer to get more deeply involved, and this photo accomplishes this with some cognitive dissonance triggering the viewer’s curiosity. This is well thought out and nicely executed!

I really like this “shadow selfie” by Jasna šafarič‎. The shadow complements the other bold diagonal lines in this composition, which all lead the eye to the colorful background. The contrast between the bright greens and the reds is playful and energetic.

I think that Katie Miller’s creative selfie is a lot of fun; making it was probably just as much fun as looking at it is! I get the feeling, however, that this probably took more than one shot to get it right—and a bit of clever contortionism as well!

Finally, I really like this reflection selfie by Carolyn Currie. The distortion of the reflection caused by the curvy tuba adds an element of abstraction, and the colors are great. I would have liked to see more of the tuba player’s face – I think that would have added a nice counterpoint element to the composition. So Carolyn, if you have a slightly wider view of this, let’s see it!

There were so many wonderful photos submitted during this Photo Challenge, and many times I was left impressed, stunned, and even jealous by what I saw. I learned a lot from all of you, and I hope you learned a lot from each other. And I and the rest of the team here at Outdoor Photography Guide hope to connect with you all again through our many blog posts, articles, eBooks, videos, future photo challenges, and other special events. Good luck!


About the author: World-renowned professional photographer and Tamron Image Master Ian Plant is a frequent contributor to several leading photo magazines and the author of numerous books and instructional videos. You can see more of Ian’s work at

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One Response to “Photo Challenge Week 9 Recap: Artistic Selfies”

  1. Rambod

    Could you please let me know how can I send an image for for challange weeks? Also how can I know what is the challange subject in advance? Thx and Rgds