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The Artisan
2nd PlaceThe Artisan
gyaban


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Male Portrait II (Expert Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Date: Sep 1, 2011
Aperture: f/18
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/250 sec
Date Uploaded: Sep 1, 2011

'The hand is the tool of tools.' - Aristotle

Our lives are full of tools, to the point no human being could exist without them. The whole civilization rely on them.

Depending on the History period, or depending on the part of the world, they can be rudimentary (rocks, wheel, spear, bow, hammer, ...) or very complex (washing machines, cars, cameras, computers, ...).

At first, we created them to serve us: easier and better food, more comfortable life, permit us to explore and adjust the environment to suit our needs.
I sometimes have the strange feeling that tools are now becoming more important than the human beings themselves: they often decide what you should do instead of you. What first was an help is now leading. How do you have to dress today? Ask satellites and radars, they will tell you if you must put a jacket and take that umbrella. What do you must eat? Ask those blood analysis machines. Who do you must meet and marry? Submit your criteria, the great Internet will tell you. On a side note, this is actually how I exactly met my wife. This is nothing virtual: a computed algorithm decided of our fates.

Note that I am not necessarily against this, I'm simply observing. It just looks like a very ironic step of our evolution: our hands created what is now more important than us, in some way. Is it good, is it bad, am I saying total nonsense? I don't care that much about the answer, but these thoughts were a good occasion to grab my camera.

Technically, these are all photos of my hands. I made 400 shots, and ended up using about 200 of them. I did not use any custom brushes: this method was not precise enough to my taste, so I just masked them all and organized everything on separate layers (around 570 of them). Each hand photo has been masked, resized, rotated, deformed when needed, (de)saturated, brightened and/or darkened, so that repetitions would not be too much visible.

In order to help preparing the hands shots, I actually made a normal self portrait, which I used as a background to be covered with all the hands. I drew lines on it, to create supporting shapes and flows, and also used its natural shadows to emulate the depth of the original scene using all the small hands.

All in all, this project took me around 30 hours of work, quite a lot to be done in one week in addition to my main job. The title is "The Tool of Tools", but I changed it for DPC, just to fit the challenge better and avoid some votes due to the fact the picture was not directly about a particular man.

Thank you all for your great votes and comments, including negative ones. I value them all very much. I'm very happy that this work won a ribbon!

[Sep. 7th, 2011 08:02:35 AM]

I'm delighted: the picture was published on 1X, and within a few hours, reached the status of most popular photo of the day, and most popular photo of the week. Comments have been overwhelmingly flattering, and coming from photographers and critics I absolutely admire. I think this picture really sets a milestone in my work.


Statistics
Place: 2 out of 47
Avg (all users): 7.3043
Avg (commenters): 9.2162
Avg (participants): 7.5714
Avg (non-participants): 7.2564
Views since voting: 6480
Views during voting: 559
Votes: 184
Comments: 114
Favorites: 43 (view)


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AuthorThread
04/09/2012 03:35:42 AM
Pretty sure this photo earned my first comment on DPC. Still a source of inspiration!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2012 07:12:48 PM
I thought I had seen some of your best work.

This is magnificent work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/16/2011 09:13:08 AM
Thought this //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myra_(painting) makes an interesting connection.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/15/2011 03:47:38 PM
Congrats, Fantastic work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/14/2011 03:52:11 PM
I gave this a 7. As someone who dabbles in the visual arts, I know the skill involved to create something like this. Also, I think it has a mood to it, which is a good thing. And it benefits from the simplicity that this format forced you into. Some of your work tends to get a bit... baroque.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/14/2011 10:06:07 AM
This is an amazing creative piece. Nice work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/14/2011 10:04:24 AM
I didn't vote and certainly wouldn't have given a one - i would have marked it high - but i wondered if maybe the size is a factor ? for some reason the thumbnail seems to look at least as good as the main shot - in fact it gives me a feeling of depth and subtlety that i didn't get from the original - maybe just a little smaller so i could see it all comfortably on the screen ? i don't mean that it overspills the screen, simply that i tend to have to look up and down at this picture and if it were smaller i could see it all at once - if that makes sense
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/14/2011 05:54:34 AM
Amazing! What a talent you have!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/14/2011 04:43:12 AM
There are some real dumbo's amongst us on DPC. I mean who in his right mind would give this phenomenal piece of work a 1?
or even a 2 or a 3 or a 4? It's worth a 10 in every way.

Edited the word "Imbeciles" to "Dumbo's"

Message edited by author 2011-09-14 08:07:28.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/13/2011 06:49:32 AM
This is just freakin awesome! Thanks for sharing it with us.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/12/2011 01:06:22 AM
Unbelievable! Amazing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2011 07:56:00 PM
Absolutely amazing and well deserved ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2011 06:03:25 PM
You really need to expand your horizon ! Your imagination along with your photography skills and post processing knowhow really set you apart from the rest of us !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2011 11:49:02 AM
Incredible work! Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/11/2011 08:18:52 AM
WOW! ...saw it in voting, but didn't get to leave any comments... Congrats! ...and WOW! ...again!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2011 09:34:00 PM
Truly a work of art.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2011 12:30:13 PM
Amazing work yet again, Christophe! Huge congrats esp on being recognized by 1x as you are! :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2011 10:09:46 AM
Holy crap you are amazing. And an inspiration. The stuff you imagine and then bring to life is outstanding.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2011 04:01:16 AM
I'm extremely impressed with your dedication to your craft.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/10/2011 01:01:45 AM
Good God is this ever tremendous.

ETA: Why this isn't an 8+ is beyond me. This photo blows me away.

Message edited by author 2011-09-10 01:03:26.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 11:47:52 PM
It's not a great shock that you came up with yet another brilliant concept and then executed it so well. You have proven yourself to be of incredible creativity and talent, and this is just the latest.

But I'm very, very happy for you about this statement at the end of your comments: "I think this picture really sets a milestone in my work."

I also like what you said about not taking up photography as a job. While I'm nowhere near as talented, several friends have suggested the same to me, and I give them exactly the same answer.

Felicitations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 11:38:05 PM
WOOOOW YOU DESERVE LIKE A MILLION BUCKS FOR THIS. GENIUS
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 08:05:13 PM
Congrats on the ribbon!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 06:58:47 PM
Oh my GOD. This is unbelievable! :O
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 05:23:12 PM
Christophe, I fear that people have started to recognize your fine work and vote it down on purpose. This should have been a blue for sure. Not to discount the current blue which is of course fantastic... I'm just saying that this didn't warrant any ones, twos or threes. The same thing happened on a challenge where you came in second to me so I guess I can't complain too much :) bien fait!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 04:55:11 PM
Call me unobservant. I didn't know they were all hands until I read your notes.

Now... it's AMAZING, Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 04:44:45 PM
Just had another look at this and felt like commenting again - this is one of the best things ive ever seen on this site.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 04:11:57 PM
Brilliant !! creative genius

I like what you said here:
I think this picture really sets a milestone in my work

I think the flood gates will open now :) keep going but remember us
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 03:52:01 PM
Originally posted by wizardry:

Christophe, as usual, OUTSTANDING...please tell me your day job revolves around photography...if not...you should seriously think about it...you are one of the best i have seen on this site...and there are some damn good photogs on here!


Thanks for your kind words. No my job has nothing to do with photography. However, I don't really want to change that: I love photography because I am totally free in it. Should money come into the equation, this would probably change, which I do not wish.
09/09/2011 01:42:40 PM
Congrats on the ribbon. I still think you were robbed tho! Amazing work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:42:43 PM
Christophe, as usual, OUTSTANDING...please tell me your day job revolves around photography...if not...you should seriously think about it...you are one of the best i have seen on this site...and there are some damn good photogs on here!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 11:40:04 AM
Christophe, this is fantastic, I can not even imagine the hours and hours that went into this...brilliant

Congrats on the well deserved ribbon!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 11:13:12 AM
insane.
and that is a HUGE compliment coming from me. =>)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 10:38:23 AM
I wonder why this didn't get the blue by a mile. Awesome work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 10:10:34 AM
I've come back to look at this about ten times today. Each time I spot another interesting detail.

It reminds me of Salvadore Dali in that respect.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 09:36:40 AM
oh my!! That's all I keep thinking... Oh my!! It truly boggles the mind...

Awesome, spectacular, and truly amazing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 07:30:34 AM
This is unbelievably amazing. Leg - end.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 07:01:22 AM
Originally posted by NiallOTuama:

Did you sketch this out first too? If so can you upload a picture of the sketch? :-) It'd be interesting to see how well you can draw.

And wow. More 10's than anything else. What an odd voting histogram, eh?


Thanks Niall, yes indeed, interesting histogram :)

As for my drawings, they are absolutely awful, believe me: just some basic shapes in the frame, to have a rough idea of where things are positioned and how large they should be, but nothing recognizable.
09/09/2011 06:49:38 AM
Congratulations another cracker.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 06:45:36 AM
Did you sketch this out first too? If so can you upload a picture of the sketch? :-) It'd be interesting to see how well you can draw.

And wow. More 10's than anything else. What an odd voting histogram, eh?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 06:36:45 AM
.. and bizarre! :) Congrats on all the recognition you are getting. You are well on the way to the photographic stardom. It is great to watch. Good luck with the next stage! Margaret
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 05:44:34 AM
570 layers

Blimey

Not superfluously conjugated, superfluously inflected although both instances succeeded in communicating that which was intended.

Hand painting.

Congratulations on the (increasingly) widespread recognition, Christophe. Keep on keeping on.

Like the notes, too. How much are tools replacing hands? How much of our brains is falling into disuse as we move away from being the artisan ape?

And so on.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 05:26:41 AM
This is phenomenal!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 04:17:22 AM
30 hours? how in god's name do u find the time? congrats on the 2nd place. Had my 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 03:57:09 AM
Praise to the Master...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 03:50:03 AM
Originally posted by gyaban:

Nope, I'm afraid I didn't see that movie. Is there a man made of hands in it?

It's a weird movie from the 80's staring David Bowie. Someone's falling down a tunnel and the tunnel is lined with hands. The hands form various faces and talk to her about whether she's going to go up or down.
//26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l88l7nerHC1qb0gm1o1_500.png
//1.bp.blogspot.com/_w7sJeCCA1qA/TI6R_cyz-UI/AAAAAAAAALQ/EEY7kKTs1Tg/s1600/Labyrinth-hands.jpg
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 03:24:09 AM
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

This one will be fun to send in for validation.
Another great concept, well executed.


Fully agree. In defense of the weak dpc server I suggest you burn DVD's and Fedex those 200+ originals (have it stamped by a notary public)

ETA: Dear SC members , please make sure you DQ Gyaban's image if you do not receive any of the 200 originals, and also if you do not have a chance to verify, one by one, those are the images he used :-)

Message edited by author 2011-09-09 03:44:42.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 03:06:49 AM
This one will be fun to send in for validation.
Another great concept, well executed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 03:05:41 AM
Originally posted by NiallOTuama:

I don't think ironical is a proper word. Or rather its a superfluously conjugated word. Just thought you'd like to know. Ironic is sufficient and correct.:-)


Corrected, thanks!
09/09/2011 03:03:18 AM
I don't think ironical is a proper word. Or rather its a superfluously conjugated word. Just thought you'd like to know. Ironic is sufficient and correct.:-)

Congrats on 1x! Ironical comments. Normally things that do well here wont do well on 1x. I like how you questioned whether something that did really well on 1x would do well here. I'm glad I did. And also glad I read the comments. Very interesting.

Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 03:01:36 AM
fantastic
who besides you could be insane enough to do this?
only 200 out of 400 shots taken?....you disappoint me this time Christophe. My guess was no less than 2 thousand pics.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 03:00:44 AM
Originally posted by NiallOTuama:

You have too much time on your hands! Getit?
I expected this to ribbon. Nice work!

Did you ever see the movie the labyrinth?


Thanks :)
Nope, I'm afraid I didn't see that movie. Is there a man made of hands in it?
09/09/2011 02:45:30 AM
You have too much time on your hands! Getit?
I expected this to ribbon. Nice work!

Did you ever see the movie the labyrinth?

Message edited by author 2011-09-09 02:47:01.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 02:41:51 AM
In addition to your main job???

You have a main job?

All the dedication you have for dpc and your photography actually made me think that this is your main job, or that you are a retired rich man who is simply bored so you took photography as a hobby.

Thanks for spending time here on dpc. Your work inspires a lot of us here to do better.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 02:28:07 AM
Holy cow!! Exhibit opening today, rockin on 1x .... and a red on DPC. You are on a roll . . . wait, you've been on a roll for quite awhile!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 02:26:26 AM
Amazing Christophe your ability to think to such extremes leaves me very humble to have experienced this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 02:24:31 AM
Originally posted by Magnum_za:

I doubt my old laptop would keep up with 57 layers let alone 570.


It probably would: using smart objects, you can create "sub PSD files" inside the project, so that you don't run out of memory. The group of layers is stored on the disk, and only the global image of them is actually loaded in the memory. Handy.
09/09/2011 02:17:28 AM
I doubt my old laptop would keep up with 57 layers let alone 570. The question remains of course: is this a photo? Unbelievable dedication to the craft. 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 01:25:02 AM
Congratulations! Great work, Christophe. Thank you for your philosophizing. Well worth the read. We know where it's all heading don't we?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 01:07:02 AM
Totally amazing. Reminds me of my hands photo but yours is wayyyyyyyy better. In my faves.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 01:00:41 AM
Congrats on your ribbon! a new incredible, impressive image! wow!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:59:58 AM
You are visionary.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:58:44 AM
I am always devastated by your creative genius and your extraordinary technical skills. Brilliant, masterful work, Christophe. Congrats on the ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:53:16 AM
Although the strenuous effort of this image bears ribbon territory reward, frankly I find the effort to make friends with this image just as strenuous. I would anticipate an image of hands to provide some sense of connection, but the primal almost stark darkness of expression disconnects me entirely. I guess the lesson is that I don't have to connect with this image to hail it as a remarkable and memorable experience.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:51:52 AM
gyaban_congrats.png
10 from me. Even more astounding reading your notes. Devotion!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:39:10 AM
Congrats on well deserved Brown Ribbon!! :)

"I voted 10 on this one!, wasnt wrong!"
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:36:36 AM
Wow Christophe, I did'nt look hard enough at this, the first time around and never realised it was your hands in this photo, shame on me. Deserved of a ribbon, due to the hours you must've spent producing this master piece, congrats on the 1X as well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:26:21 AM
I stand in awe ... genius work deserving of recognition in the finest of Art galleries.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:22:52 AM
How can anybody score this below an 8? Very impressive - 10 for me, contgrats on the well deserved ribbon!

Message edited by author 2011-09-09 00:23:26.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:05:35 AM
congrats Christophe! This looks like a lot of work and it certainly paid off ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2011 12:05:02 AM
Great shot Christophe! So nice to see you up there right next to Justin :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/08/2011 11:50:48 PM
5
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2011 11:41:10 PM
Gonna bump this. From 7 to 10. The more I look at it, the more intrigued I am. It's quite mesmerizing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2011 10:38:38 PM
This to me is the blue...10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2011 10:22:08 PM
This is so incredibly well done that Iím just stunned in amazement! My top pick of the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2011 09:37:28 PM
This is almost too good to describe. Top marks for creativity and execution.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2011 03:04:47 PM
Very creative. I tried to count how many unique hand shots this must have taken, must have been quite a bit of time in pre- and post-processing. Knowing the DPC crowd, this is likely to be the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2011 02:39:24 PM
I was just about to vote and then i realised the face was made up of hands, very subtle. great shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/08/2011 05:33:33 AM
The winner!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2011 06:11:38 PM
Beyond incredible.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2011 05:58:12 PM
This is incredible. Photography or video art.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/07/2011 05:01:26 AM
That's weird
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2011 02:06:39 PM
Knew this must be you but I had assumed you had made some custom brushes. I had already given you a 10 but now that I have read your notes on 1x, I wish I could give you 11!

How long did you take?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2011 04:50:14 AM
Holy bleeding cow that is an amazing composite. Blue.
Don't be shy with the technique please :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/06/2011 12:49:36 AM
that looks like quite a bit of work, nice effort!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2011 02:35:38 AM
Very clever. I can't imagine how long that took.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2011 11:58:36 PM
Never seen anything like this! Wow! Looks like a lot of work went into this. Awesome!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2011 09:52:20 PM
This one gets a ribbon for creativity and for beeing a cool image. Would love to see a tutorial or how-to of this sometime! :) (10 points from me)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2011 08:45:00 PM
had to look at this twice... holy wow. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2011 06:11:56 PM
Unfathomably creative. Just incredible. At a loss for words for anything to add, other than: 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2011 03:49:58 PM
very creative! i gave this a 9!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2011 04:54:23 AM
Stunning work. Top 3. No vote
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2011 01:33:46 AM
This could be a girl for all I know and it is going to be a DNMC. You don't know! :D
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2011 07:27:59 PM
Amazing! I assume you took some pictures of the hands and made some brushes. It is really cool and all the hands added to the pose and the look on the face give it an interesting emotion.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2011 06:51:00 PM
I'm wondering how much time this took and how many photos. Excellent work and a different take on the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2011 02:53:15 PM
Fantastic, OMG Fantastic
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2011 12:43:59 PM
Has to be in the top three in my book.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2011 06:03:18 AM
Brilliant idea but doesn't have a human touch.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2011 01:49:07 AM
I can only imagine the amount of time put into this, and it has certainly paid off. Truly magnificent!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2011 01:13:45 AM
WOW!! Great concept and execution!! That must have taken some serious time to shoot & construct!! Best wishes in the contest!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 09:17:15 PM
Great use of custom brush. Really worked out well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 02:42:10 PM
Heck, why these exercises end up almost all the time looking ugly? Lot of work here but ....
No mark
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 12:55:02 PM
Awesome
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 12:28:28 PM
Totally bizarre. That must have taken a long time. I love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 12:24:48 PM
At first I thought this was weird, then I realized that this entire thing was made out of hands and I realized just how awesome and fantastic this is. What hard work! The fist pupils just put the icing on the cake. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 12:17:46 PM
Took three times looking at this to see those were actually hands! This is a really cool image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 11:04:42 AM
The most artful and unique image I've seen on DPC in a while. I have a hunch on whos this might be. Aren't many I know on the site who could pull of an edit like this. Good luck in the challenge. Though I don't think you need it ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 10:39:28 AM
Wow!...thats a lot of hands! 10+
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 09:32:38 AM
The amount of time this must have taken entitles you to a Ribbon automically! Haha
It is superb out the box thinking and I hope you do well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 02:33:45 AM
Wow, this must have taken you FOREVER. Probably took a lot of pre-planning too. Very cool. I just think that the title isn't as strong as the image. With a picture as cool as this, I think you could have come up with a more striking title. Not docking you for that though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 01:49:55 AM
Wow... please please please please post a tutorial of this when the voting's over! I almost skipped through this until I realized what I was looking at! Magnificent! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 01:34:41 AM
Oh... my... gawd! Can't wait to hear how many photos you took for this - validation might take a year. And no doubt this will require validation as all ribbon winners do. :) FANTASTIC! I also can't wait to hear the photography purists gripe and moan about it. :P
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 12:46:02 AM
this is extremely cool and so well done. I cant stop looking at it 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2011 12:23:13 AM
wow. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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