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Challenge: Surrealism II (Expert Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Date: Aug 21, 2014
Date Uploaded: Aug 21, 2014

[Aug. 28th, 2014 05:21:54 PM]

"Nobody knows you when you're down" says the song. While it is not always true strictly speaking (some, including myself, are fortunate enough to have a loving family or friends), it still can reflect one's feelings. When you get into significant trouble, you tend to feel like no one is actually understanding you, like nothing can help you out. Such situation can have various causes: losing your job, losing a parent, a pet, illness, or even more superficial things. From there, the perception of the surrounding world often becomes altered: food have no taste, jokes are never funny, everything looks dumb, there is no reason to get out of the bed. The mind wanders through the memories of what have been lost, trying to live once more in that past time. Through that surreal creation, I wanted to present how things could look from that point of view: the man feels like he is drowning, even though there is no water, while others are passing by without much care, in a changing world that is slowly and ineluctably absorbing and digesting what he once was, what he will never be again.

Technically, it was interesting to create a location out of various photos. All of them were taken during the day, and the resulting scene have been converted to night in post-processing.
- The main building was shot in Rouen (Tourist Office, in front of the cathedral), as well as the Tavern in the background
- The sidewalk was shot in Mantes-la-Jolie (sidewalks in Rouen were mostly paved, and I wanted a more fluid texture on the ground, so that the person could sink into it)
- Street lamps were photographed next to the castle of La Roche-Guyon
- The rest was shot in my home studio

Some other facts:
- The woman on the left is walking backwards (you can tell it from the footprints she leaves on the ground), symbolizing the man's perception of time being affected by his hopelessness.
- The fish is a reference to the watery world the man feels in. The drawn bubbles become visually real, as his personal world evolves.
- The pedestrian crosswalk illusion is a reference to the famous Magritte's painting "La Carte Blanche". Obviously, the woman's hand showing on the "wrong" side of the lamp is deliberate. Again, optical low-fidelity to what most would call the "real world" is an expression of the man's condition.
- All the reflections of the scene in the bubbles have been adjusted (although it cannot be seen on that small DPC version).
- The keyhole, hook and keys suggest that there is actually something going on underneath the street surface. I had something in mind, but it is not important, imagination prevails.

You can see a much higher resolution version here.
Thanks a lot for the kind votes, comments, and time some took to look at my work, I appreciated it a lot.

Place: 2 out of 51
Avg (all users): 7.3297
Avg (commenters): 8.9000
Avg (participants): 6.6471
Avg (non-participants): 7.7368
Views since voting: 1909
Views during voting: 276
Votes: 91
Comments: 21
Favorites: 2 (view)

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08/30/2014 12:30:09 AM
This is a beautiful stray from what you accustomed us with and I salute you for it.
Your imagination runs with a very high speed and sometimes it cannot keep up with its pictorial representation. The storyteller in you has so much to say but he has to keep us on our toes. Keep some secrets also!
For instance, in this film noir scene, a lot of stuff can wait for its second act, so to speak. Our attention is a bit scattered (we cannot keep up with your pace!).
It reminds me of an old French advice: when a woman dresses to go out, before leaving she shall take out one of her pieces of jewlery.
In American terms: less is more (not always though, sometimes less is really, well, less).

I look forward to see your progress Christophe.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2014 12:00:23 AM
Christophe! The higher resolution version is well worth a look - the dpc sized one loses too much.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2014 04:32:07 PM
Gee GOLLY, Christophe! You really put much thought into your images' meanings!

I look at mine and say... "Yep. That's kinda cool." and I press "submit".

You're my abstraction hero!!

  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2014 10:59:38 AM
You have the coolest kitty :) Congrats on the ribbon, Christophe
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2014 09:09:48 AM
A great story and image, as usual. Congrats on the ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2014 08:23:07 AM
Wonderful image. Congratulation for the ribbon
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2014 08:06:41 AM
Amazing work as always and the details blow me away. Congrats on the red Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2014 06:53:56 AM
This is cool.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2014 05:59:08 AM
Wonderful image again Christophe, I really enjoyed looking for all those details as the bubbles, the keyhole, the cat and more. Light is amazing and then I read here you shot in daylight and made it look like night. Didn't even know that is possible LOL. (So much to learn yet). Congrats on a well deserved Red!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
08/28/2014 09:33:16 PM
Surreal yet subtle, beautifully blended. This has grown on me and is now one of my ribbon choices.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2014 04:59:43 PM
a whole story here 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2014 01:20:27 PM
Your images are a pleasure to see with attention, lots of little details
love the detail of the keyhole at street level
I think the hand of the lady crossing the street should be behind the lamp post

alreaddy voted - 9 - back to comment
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2014 12:39:54 PM
already voted

the lighting on this is awesome, love the looks how it seems as if the ppl were sinking in the floors, just seems like a weird world to belong too
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2014 11:15:23 AM
Lots of interesting things to see in this shot, and the sinking and invisibility of the two in the street look so believable. Well done. I'm not sure the bubbles added much for me, but this was still one of my favorites of the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2014 01:23:40 AM
So much to explore in this image... the kitty with the bubbles, the lit keyhole and keys, the mystifying crosswalk, the fish, the liquid sidewalk... WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!!!??
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/27/2014 10:54:13 PM
A bit of film noir
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/24/2014 05:11:29 AM
Now this a story
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/23/2014 05:13:08 AM
DPC is full of great images, but few excels my imagination like this one. At first I though it was "just another high quality image", but not really my thing. Then I started looking at the details, like the wild cat, the lit-up key hole and the woman's strained facial expression. Suddenly I realised I had made up a story in my head. I really like the unstable linkage between different worlds in that the drawn bubbles take physical form and in the ground "we" walk on losing its. Not sure if it is the same story as whoever made this intended, but mine is one of an community of sunken people, living underground, creatively trying to get a hold on the key to a door that is locked from the other side. A desperate attempt to return to a world where they were not valued to begin with, a world where most people have no substance. This image has taught me one important thing that I will take with me in future ratings, and that is that even though the picture is not really my preferred style I still need to study it, try to imagine the photographer's idea, story and the work it took creating it. A lot of you are probably thinking daahhh! right now, but hey!.. I'm still new at this game. This comment got a lot longer than I intended. Sorry!) :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2014 07:00:14 PM
I love the zebra crossing great illusion. The more I look the more I see
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2014 03:56:55 PM
Good for you for not giving in to the DQ! :D

Well done! The fish and bubbles and cat are my favorite parts...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2014 09:45:47 AM
full of delicious detail
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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