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The Hero
1st PlaceThe Hero
gyaban


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: For Dallas (Expert Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Date: Apr 21, 2012
Date Uploaded: Apr 24, 2012

[Apr. 17th]
The image won a Gold Medal (category "Unusual") at the Trierenberg Super Circuit 2013 contest.

[Apr. 29th, 2012 09:58:56 AM]

I am really happy and proud of this picture. It is one of those rare cases when the result is even better than what I had in mind.

One thing I love with children, is their ability to give different levels of reality the same value. They see no problem for a toy to embody their favorite hero, and identify themselves to it. Similarly, they don't care much about physics laws: their imagination is perfectly able to mix components of totally different sizes, origins, types, genres, affinities, all in a coherent world. I believe such thinking is extremely sane: it minimizes the effects of external influences and biases. Everything is equal and starts with similar chances, no preconceived ideas, no white, no black, no vision to promote nor defend, no politics, no need for conquest nor fights.
Of course, this step usually don't last long, and children are quickly explained what is good and wrong, what is possible and impossible, what they should aim for, what they should avoid, what they should believe in. They slowly evolve to adults. However I believe we all keep (more or less, depending on the individual) some of this ability, which I love to use in my work.

In this picture, I tried to imagine what kind of stories and adventures could imagine a 5 years old kid when playing in the garden with his stuffed toy, seeing a cat wandering nearby. The mouse taming the cat and mounting it sounded as a good beginning! Then I came up with the rest of the set. I really hope Dallas will like it.

On the technical side, the cat is a Maine Coon named Akhalia, one of my 4 cats. She's really calm and peaceful, it is next to impossible to make her jump in the studio in front of the strobes, so I had to create a composite of 5 different photos. Flowers and mouse were bought the day after, and my wife kindly sewed the disguise. I also shot these at home, using the very same lighting setup to maintain coherence. Finally, the path sky and trees were photographed during a walk in the woods next to my house. The post-processing was hard due to time constraints, I did my best to achieve it in 3 evenings, and didn't sleep the last night: the final version was submitted 1 minute before rollover. But it was so worth it!

Thank you all for your great comments and votes! Unbelievable. I am so thankful. And extremely happy to see that most of us still have our children eyes :-)

If you would like to see a bigger version or buy a print, you can do so here.

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 94
Avg (all users): 8.4648
Avg (commenters): 9.0303
Avg (participants): 8.5833
Avg (non-participants): 8.3780
Views since voting: 8270
Views during voting: 449
Votes: 142
Comments: 87
Favorites: 39 (view)


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AuthorThread
07/02/2012 04:36:03 PM
Have this hanging in Dallas' room. He absolutely LOVES it! Thanks again! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/15/2012 06:22:01 PM
This is gorgeous, your creativity knows no bounds Christophe.

Perfect for the challenge and I sincerely hope Dallas managed to view this - would love to know how all these wonderful shots went down with him.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/08/2012 07:58:06 PM
Wonderful image, Christophe, and the poster will be a fantstic gift to Dallas. I agree with previous comments that this could be developed into a great children's book. (Lots of work no doubt.)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/05/2012 05:22:01 PM
Gorgeous feline, wonderful image! Everything flows so nicely.. love the colors esp the cat's eyes. If you're not doing book illustration you should!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/04/2012 12:45:05 PM
Simply wonderful! What an awesome gift. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/03/2012 10:43:23 AM
Love this, great work, great imagination, great information and a beautiful cat.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/03/2012 09:42:15 AM
Worth a fave for your description of childhood imagination alone!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 10:17:16 PM
Wonderful contribution to provide such a large print of this for Dallas. And like Mae, I may not always connect with your imagery (I'm a street gal at heart, and that's way different) but this one really put everything together perfectly. I agree with Paul it should have beat out your Emergency entry, too. Far more polished, I think. Keep doing what you do!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 05:50:44 PM
Nothing more to say that hasn't been said. You rock, Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 02:38:50 PM
Wonderful work as always, Christophe! Not surprised that the hero's mount is a Maine Coon, we had one growing up and nothing bothered him. Now if only I can get my Birmans to look as heroic...;-) Huge congrats on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 01:58:07 PM
I know I'm one of the very few people who do not connect very well with your imagery in general. But, this particular image reveled in the spirit of this challenge and I absolutely loved it (for whatever that is worth to you with so many fans...;-)...). The joy of a little boy's heart abounds in this image and I hope Dallas just loves it the most.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 01:33:37 PM
Is this even fair anymore? Lol.

Great image yet again, Christophe. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 01:25:18 PM
Truly fabulous picture by any standards and one to be proud of.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 12:59:46 PM
congratulations, Christophe! I'm sure Dallas will love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 11:52:33 AM
Your comments are as fun to read as your photos are to look at. Fantastic job, and congratulations on the ribbon. You are simply amazing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 11:46:15 AM
You must really love your day job because you're a natural at this children / young adult fantasy illustrations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 11:42:30 AM
Wonderful image,had to be the winner and i,m sure Dallas will love it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 10:32:53 AM
WOW... YOU TOOK ME INTO A FANTASY WORLD THAT I OFTEN VENTURE IN RE LOVE OF TELLING CHILDREN STORIES AND YES I WAS AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES AND ENJOYING THIS IMAGE AND MAKING IT COME ALIVE...
YOU SHOULD DO MORE OF THIS A SERIES AND MAKE A CHILDREN'S BOOK WITH THIS ADVENTURE...DALLAS WOULD LOVE IT AND SO WOULD EVER OTHER CHILD AND SO WOULD I.....
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOU WIZARDRY AND THIS AWESOME PHOTOGRAPH.
ANOTHER FAVORITE IN IN MY FAVORITE FOLDER... THANK YOU XOX
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 10:32:29 AM
Originally posted by gyaban:

Originally posted by Brent_S:

Awesome! Given the reason behind this topic being picked I think this type of image is perfect for the task and you did a masterful job Christophe. I'm sure Dallas will be thrilled with this one :)


Thanks a lot Brent :-) I really hope he we like it, since a 20x30" framed canvas of it is going his way, to try and bring some fun in his room!

Sweet! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 10:19:13 AM
Fantastic! A perfect picture story for Dallas to explore. Congrats on yet another masterpiece. Now get some sleep!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 10:16:30 AM
Originally posted by Brent_S:

Awesome! Given the reason behind this topic being picked I think this type of image is perfect for the task and you did a masterful job Christophe. I'm sure Dallas will be thrilled with this one :)


Thanks a lot Brent :-) I really hope he we like it, since a 20x30" framed canvas of it is going his way, to try and bring some fun in his room!
05/02/2012 10:06:42 AM
Awesome! Given the reason behind this topic being picked I think this type of image is perfect for the task and you did a masterful job Christophe. I'm sure Dallas will be thrilled with this one :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 09:55:30 AM
Another beautiful amazing work of Art!! Congrats on your Blue! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 08:38:18 AM
Congrats on a spectacular entry and score!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 08:06:21 AM
You are truly a savant, Christophe. Such an inspiration, this image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 07:14:53 AM
i could have sworn i left a comment during voting... this was my only 10 given out and well deserved.

you are clearly a master.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 07:05:34 AM
Exquisite work as always, Christophe, congrats on blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 06:24:07 AM
I think it's the best one you've done here. Superb work! Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 04:46:21 AM
yep this is fantastic
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 04:11:20 AM
Absolutely amazing man. You have THE gift.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 03:51:44 AM
Outstanding Christophe! Simply stunning. I am in awe of your talent and dedication.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 03:25:38 AM
HUGE congrats, Christophe! I'd also echo what 21.gif paulbtlw said below.

Message edited by author 2012-05-02 03:25:57.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 03:09:51 AM
You've managed to embue this image with all sorts of magic, I think it transcends your other creations because of the alignment between sentiment, intent and technical artistry.

I feel guilty, I didn't get to voting in this challenge and my 10 would have taken it into your top slot. It deserves to better your Emergency image.

Reading your notes is once again an inspiration.

You have outdone yourself.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 02:47:54 AM
Congrats Christophe! Truly inspiring. You rock!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 02:37:28 AM
Originally posted by Melethia:

Wake Forest University Baptist Med Ctr
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
United States

Make it attention to Dallas Ridings


Thank you very much, will order the print today!
05/02/2012 02:36:35 AM
and the
pink flamingo award goes tooooooo
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 02:25:21 AM
Wake Forest University Baptist Med Ctr
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
United States

Make it attention to Dallas Ridings
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 01:58:09 AM
Wow! Thanks for sharing this vision! 10+
I want a print too!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 01:48:24 AM
Originally posted by caba:

It's a pleasure to have a true artist as a member of this site, you've raised the bar for all of us, truly inspiring.


+1

Always fun to see what Gyaban creation awaits at rollover.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 01:25:02 AM
Originally posted by lobrin:

Please send it to Dallas..!


Thank you :-) I sure will! If anyone knows the full name/address where to send a print, please let me know, either in PM or in the forums (if the information is not confidential).
05/02/2012 01:21:37 AM
congrats.. I commented on your "saved by the light" that it will be harder for you to beat it.. but its almost. awesome!..

Please send it to Dallas..!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 12:55:56 AM
It's a pleasure to have a true artist as a member of this site, you've raised the bar for all of us, truly inspiring.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 12:52:11 AM
I'm sure this made him smile. superbly done, congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 12:30:28 AM
Pure genius. My favorite of all your work. Way to go and congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 12:19:23 AM
Spent three evenings and one full night?!! Truly inspiring... Great score.... And that too in a row... Way to go, Christophe.... Keep rocking!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 12:13:10 AM
Amazing. That's all :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 12:09:13 AM
Hell of a job. Congrats! Used to have a Maine Coon Cat myself. Wonderful animals.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 12:05:03 AM
(2) 8.46 shots in a row. Great image. Great score. Well deserved.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/02/2012 12:04:25 AM
two 8.4s... way to go man :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
05/01/2012 05:02:29 PM
Wow golly. Ribbon.

This makes me want to be a kid... viewing this.


Lovely job.


Gyabanesce.

(commenting only)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/01/2012 01:43:07 PM
Top 3, most likely winner. Helluva good action shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/30/2012 11:57:28 PM
I have to say that this is my favorite image in this challenge. Its pleasing to look at and it is so much fun and has cool feeling of whimsy. Great job
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/30/2012 06:03:19 PM
fun
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/29/2012 05:48:24 PM
Love it, stand out winner for me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/29/2012 10:39:48 AM
Incredible! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/29/2012 06:30:33 AM
Love this image. Think this is my tip for the top.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/29/2012 01:38:18 AM
This is a ribboner for sure... awesome job and lovely cat 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/28/2012 05:49:36 PM
Best in show. Superlative work and hopefully will give that little man something to smile and cherish. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/28/2012 11:27:29 AM
Top 3, well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/28/2012 10:36:33 AM
Like something out of a storybook, this is magical!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/27/2012 07:55:19 PM
Now thats expert. Nice work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/27/2012 01:56:15 AM
BRILLIANT AND DESERVES TO BE IN THE TOP THREE REMINDS ME OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND XOX
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/26/2012 11:58:40 AM
I really hope this does well, but I fear because of its subtlety it may not score as well as it should. I'm not even sure how I'm calling it subtle, but I initially did skip over it, said "whoa, rewind", and came right back.

You've created a fantastical dreamy story. I'm usually not a fan of having stuffed stuff (little mouse) in an image, but this absolutely makes sense to have it in this usage. It is absolutely what child stories and dreams are made of. There's enough creativity and detail in this image that a child could see this and their mind would spend the rest of the day creating the rest of the story. Exactly what a child stuck in a boring hospital might need. Clearly, these noble heroes are off on a crazy adventure, and I hope Dallas joins them.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/26/2012 11:02:51 AM
What a lovely piece of fantasy art!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/26/2012 10:25:20 AM
My favorite!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/26/2012 10:20:00 AM
This is absolutely pure awesomeness!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/26/2012 12:00:32 AM
Just amazing, as always! A+ stuff and Front Page for sure! A perfect 10 from me
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 10:33:57 PM
Brilliantly imaginative...and expertly done! Whimsical...and what kid wouldn't love this?!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 07:47:53 PM
Wonderful imagery.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 07:46:53 PM
Gyban??? This is purrrrfection for a little guy!!! it's soo Alice in Wonderland! I LOVE IT
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 07:07:21 PM
Oh, wonderful! I'm sure that Dallas will love it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 05:53:43 PM
wonderful!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 05:48:42 PM
Great editing work that tells a story.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 04:24:26 PM
7
Definitely not my kind of photo, but given the context, I'm trying to hit the vote button higher. I'm thinking guns, sports, cars, tractors when I think of boys, not Zorro'esque mice riding cats.

I may have to revisit this one after the I'm done voting. If I do it'll be a +/- 1, have to see what I think of the others.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 12:58:15 PM
This is truly spectacular. If this doesn't win there are shenanigans about!
It should be an illustration for a book.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 10:36:11 AM
This is marvelous. Great creation. I admire your creativity. I'm smiling.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 10:07:22 AM
This is gorgeous!!!!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 09:55:24 AM
even though the cat is clearly en repose you've managed to inject great dynamism into the image. Congrats - it's terrific.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 08:40:14 AM
This looks like a gyaban shot. Wonderful editing, great story in the picture, and my pick for blue. Well done! (voted earlier)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 08:24:19 AM
How fun! I love your creative use of Expert Editing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 01:58:31 AM
step aside
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 01:54:40 AM
Best cat pic I've ever seen on dpc, this eludes by feline prejudice 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 01:03:33 AM
You should have called it "The winner"... Well done! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 12:53:15 AM
Oh this is delightful! Whimsical and very well done. This would be a nice one to hang on his wall.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 12:29:48 AM
Terrific colors and lighting, Christophe
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 12:19:37 AM
Fantastic image! I love the feeling that this is both a real picture and a fantastic flight of fancy! Definitely a 10!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/25/2012 12:12:38 AM
very well done, amazing to look at, fantastical. good luck in this challenge, I'm sure Dallas will enjoy this one lots.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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