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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Post-Apocalyptic (Expert Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Date: Oct 4, 2012
Date Uploaded: Oct 4, 2012



[Oct. 10th, 2012 11:58:17 AM]

Creating an entry on the 'post-apocalyptic' theme in just one week was quite a challenge to me. Taking the photos for this one required some planning and preparation, as there was very few room time-wise for mistakes or re-shooting.

First, I had to find an idea: a dark mood was an obvious choice, but how add some interest to it? What kind of story to illustrate the destroyed environment? After a day of thinking, I decided to go with that man, lost in this new world, not really knowing what to do or not, what to believe or not. A man all by himself.

Then I needed an old ruined church. I created it using 3 actual churches:
1) Church of St. Ouen, Rouen
2) Rouen Cathedral
3) Jumieges Abbey

I created a composite of 1) and 2), as none of them were fitting natively in my final frame. It was an amazing experience: the churches were matching incredibly well. It is quite obvious that their architects followed similar rules and plans. In fact, that similarity help me greatly, and even perhaps permitted me to finish the project within the week. Don't get me wrong, there was still some work to do (cloning out the altar, the visitors, adjusting the colors and lighting, etc.) but the main geometrical lines were just magically matching.

Then, I of course needed to 'destroy' it. For that, I used the photos of 3), which is actually a ruined abbey. I photographed many broken walls, windows, arks, roofs, and inserted them everywhere in my main image.

At this stage, I had all the photos I needed for the main building, but the ground was much too clean. Where to find a ground full of debris? I found the answer in an old abandoned hospital, located an hour away from where I live. The Internet is an incredible tool to find shooting locations I must say. The hospital was in use until WW2, unfortunately also used as internment camp during that war. It was quite unbelievable to penetrate in there. Everything was destroyed, graffiti on each wall, windows all broken... and yet one was able to recognize the rooms, their functions, and imagine all the things that happened. My wife and I were walking all alone, silently, visiting the different floors: it was very impressive, and sad at the same time. What you see is the actual content of various rooms and corridors ground.

In fact, all the churches and debris photos were taken the same day (sunday), that my wife and I spent on the road (first Aincourt sanatorium, then Rouen for the 2 churches, then Jumieges for the abbey). Intense, but rewarding, and we were lucky with the weather. Good that we had our roadmap ready, or we would never had the time to photograph everything.

Finally I shot a photo of myself at home using the appropriate lighting (and wearing some very old clothes way too big for me), and processed everything together, which took about 20 hours. For those that noticed the non-parallel light beams, there are even more of these (in the sky to the left, at very low opacity), and they all converge to (quite logically) one point. Yes, that point is relatively close to the church, symbolizing a reachable hope.

Thanks all for the incredible votes and great comments, they are always much appreciated!



Statistics
Place: 1 out of 41
Avg (all users): 8.3622
Avg (commenters): 9.2273
Avg (participants): 7.8750
Avg (non-participants): 8.4757
Views since voting: 6069
Views during voting: 502
Votes: 127
Comments: 49
Favorites: 14 (view)


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AuthorThread
10/16/2012 09:21:02 AM
I love that in one image you have done what preachers and religions alike aspire to inspire hope and faith. Your score shows that you obviously have gone above and beyond the challenge and added an element that warms the heart. Really awesome.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/14/2012 12:00:24 AM
Oh... and CONGRATS on now having ALL EIGHTS on your profile!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/13/2012 11:59:17 PM
Yeah... this is fabulous, Christophe! I knew you must have had something up your sleeve since you suggested the challenge topic. I'm so thrilled that you Blued.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/13/2012 09:55:41 AM
Your work is amazing--from inception to final product. I always look forward to the expert editing challenges!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 10:47:46 PM
Really awesome and you do such wonderful photoshop work
I can only stand and look

I dont even enter these days because the photoshop work is way beyond me
Congratulations
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 08:20:57 PM
This is so beautiful, Christophe. I never dreamed that it was three different churches! I love the light rays. I was thinking about those in a different challenge, and never had the nerve to even try. Wonderfully done -- and I continue to look forward to each description. They're even more fun that the creations. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 06:27:36 PM
Amazing work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 03:03:47 PM
You are nothing short of a Photoshop magician! Very impressive stuff, as always. I really enjoy reading your descriptions and inspirations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 02:16:22 PM
Incredible image. It is amazing to me that it is even possible to create a scene this realistic from photographs of this group of structures. Amazing job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 11:16:02 AM
amazing work Christophe, thx for the PP sharing,im inspired.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 11:05:18 AM
Good stuff,Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 10:48:10 AM
Did not vote this challenge but looked through twice before roll-over and this was destined to be the blue. Congratulations on the ribbon, Christophe.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 10:16:19 AM
I am in total awe!! It's a museum piece!

P.S. I can't even imagine ever getting one 8-score, much less every picture showing on my profile! Ehat a master photographer you are!!!

Message edited by author 2012-10-12 10:20:22.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 09:16:02 AM
nicely done, sir. One of my favs in challenge

Message edited by author 2012-10-12 09:16:19.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 08:27:10 AM
Another one. You are chalking up some fab winners. Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 08:11:45 AM
Amazing image! ....as usual! Congrats on a well deserved 'Blue', Christophe! There is always the story, and then there is the image. Thank you for sharing your amazingly, fabulous 'talent'. You are an exceptional artist & photographer..... Do I care if you fit into a pigeon hole.... not remotely..... Thank you for choosing to share your fabulous talent on this site! It is one of the reasons that I am still a member. (Oh! ...and there is more than, a little, image envy) LOL! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 05:59:15 AM
It was the beams of light that got my attention!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 05:12:37 AM
Originally posted by Paul:

Congratulations (again!!) - It is indicative of the quality of your work and your dedication that all of your profile pics (even with 9 showing) are 8+ scores.

I always look for (and look forward to) the-Gyaban-entry in these challenges.

I'd love to see what you'd come up with for a month-long Expert challenge. Have we ever had one?


Thanks a lot Paul. At least one challenge was a month-long expert one, but it sure would be very interesting to have another one.
10/12/2012 05:00:40 AM
Congratulations (again!!) - It is indicative of the quality of your work and your dedication that all of your profile pics (even with 9 showing) are 8+ scores.

I always look for (and look forward to) the-Gyaban-entry in these challenges.

I'd love to see what you'd come up with for a month-long Expert challenge. Have we ever had one?

Message edited by author 2012-10-12 05:00:52.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 03:34:06 AM
Still getting them on your homepage somehow! Congrats. Great image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 03:24:47 AM
Congratulations, Christophe. Fantastic work! You just keep them coming!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 02:30:11 AM
Awesome score Christophe, at least I'm second to greatness, well played
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 12:28:31 AM
IMO -- this is the ideal of expert editing. Photographic fantasy, perfectly executed. Congrats Christophe.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 12:25:07 AM
Congratulations. This was my top pic as well - awesome image!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/12/2012 12:06:41 AM
How odd that I didn't recognize you as the man. :D I did, of course, recognize your work.

Wonderful... (as usual)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/11/2012 10:47:36 PM
Wonderful work - very evocative. Top pick, 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/11/2012 10:39:14 PM
the power of belief. wonderful light.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/11/2012 10:06:12 PM
Kind of Christian sci-fi. Nicely constructed. Bump to 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/11/2012 06:48:25 PM
Excellent image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/11/2012 11:00:03 AM
Well done, beautiful light, although perhaps it ought to not be quite as bright in the upper windows...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/11/2012 08:45:35 AM
Beautifully processed; my top pick.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/11/2012 05:31:46 AM
Ribbon for sure!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/11/2012 01:13:00 AM
This is definitely one of the better ones. I wish I could have seen more of the light source behind the structure. This should ribbon regardless. Nice work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/11/2012 12:42:46 AM
Your usual massive attention to detail but this time the falling light is masterful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/10/2012 12:11:39 PM
looks like real post apocalyptic , this great work going to be between the top 10 or the between 3 top place winners.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/10/2012 05:16:48 AM
I looked at the thumbnails before looking individually, and I didn't see one that outright said Christophe. After progressing through voting and coming upon this, I'm pretty sure this is yours. I say that neutrally, but the bleakness of message leads me to believe I'm right, along with the great editing.

Very interesting shot. The angle of the beams through the lower windows doesn't match those of the upper windows, but this is minor, and the shot is very well composed and edited. Very, very nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/09/2012 04:52:00 AM
Perfect, in almost every aspect. The messiah must be close, since the rays from the upper windows appear to come at a different angle than the ones below.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/08/2012 01:08:35 PM
This one is my absolute fav! Great picture and great processing and although expert editing it still looks realistic. VWD!! [voted earlier]
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/07/2012 10:31:42 AM
The diagonal light beams really make it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 10:32:59 PM
By far best shot in this challenge. The only one worth a 10 in my opinion.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 05:08:32 PM
This is my FAVORITE shot of the bunch!

LOVE the post-apocalyptic look. Yet very real look.

The title along with the man, seemingly looking upward, entices the viewer to have sympathy, yet compassion, for the man. The birds flying in the left of the photo also add the "life" to the photo... yet a darkness as well.

This is perfectly done!

Only 10 I gave. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 04:24:55 PM
I am jealous of the abundance of awesome places for you to shoot at. ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 04:12:27 PM
now a ? on faith would have been even more apt :), gotta be Christophe, love the detail and the naturalness of it, thats what im struggling with subtle blending its my next thing to learn.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 09:20:02 AM
Wow, beautiful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 08:25:25 AM
Masterful stuff. Wonderfully dark and gloomy. Desolate. Excellent.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 07:55:30 AM
I like this ,good image,just a little unbalanced in my view.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 06:09:44 AM
stand out winner
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 12:56:56 AM
This will blue for sure hands down....add yet another to the collection!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/05/2012 12:22:17 AM
Best in show award, congrats, only a handful of good ones, your's is tops
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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