Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Challenge: Ordinary becomes extraordinary, part of 5-Day Photo Challenge: Portraiture.
- Alright welcome to challenge number one. This challenge is called Ordinary To Extraordinary. What I want you to do is to go out and photograph someone in a non-descript and uninteresting environment with the intent of trying to create a meaningful and interesting photograph. Let me show you a few of my photographs which, I think illustrate this type of challenge. This first image is of Lynda Weinman, the co-founder of lynda.com. Here she's outdoors, standing in front of a simple white wall. Here's another picture of Ben Harper. standing in front of a stucco wall.
Or a couple of other friends, one in front of a warehouse. Another one, in front of a dark alley. The point is is that you can create interesting photographs in really uninteresting environments and often as portrait photographers we find ourself needing to work with what we have and that's what this challenge is all about. What I want you to do is go out there and see if you can make one of these type of images which are really simple and strong. That may mean that you need to shoot in front of a wall, or maybe bring something with you, like a piece of fabric or foam core or a piece of paper that you can put behind the subject to really simplify the image.
I also want you to consider Richard Avedon's advice. He's a famous portrait photographer who's since passed away. But he once said these really powerful words: He said "I work out of a series of no's, No to distracting elements in a photograph. No to exquisite light. No to certain subject matter. No to certain people. No to props. All these no's force me into a yes. And I have no help, I have a white background, the person I'm interested in and the thing that happens between us." You know, in order to create this type of an image you really need to be connected with the subject.
Alright, so that is the challenge. What I want you to do is go out and try to create one of those type of images. After you've captured your photograph you can post it on social media and use the hashtag #fivedayphoto so that we can check out your work. Good luck with this challenge and be sure to come back tomorrow where I'll show you how I'll approach this challenge myself.
Remember to share your results on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #5DayPhoto.