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gyaban


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Self Portrait VIII (Expert Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Date: Aug 27, 2013
Date Uploaded: Aug 27, 2013



[Aug. 30th, 2013 05:35:22 AM]

"No man is rich enough to buy back his past", once said a clever man. I must confess that I often contemplate my previous choices, even though I cannot change them. Imagining "what could have happened if..." is a favorite game of my mind. While some may say that spending time looking behind is useless, I believe that analyzing my past behavior in such or such situation helps me handling things better in the present. This is not really nostalgia, but rather the need to learn as much as possible from each experience. I suppose many persons tend to think a lot about their own path, do you?

In any case, it is also wise to not forget that there is a mandatory departure waiting for each of use, and enjoy each moment of that travel as much as possible. After all, life is a one way ticket to death.


Some technical notes about the image:
- The stairs are absolutely real, they are located in the Montmartre hill, in the north of Paris. The famous Basilica of the Sacré Coeur is also here. To get the clearest possible shot of the place, I went there in the middle of the night, around 4am. Most tourists were sleeping, and I spent about 2 hours in those stairs shooting them from various angles.
- In that season, one can't see the road going that far towards the horizon, due to trees. So I spent some time in post-processing cloning out vegetation and houses on the sides, to isolate the path in an empty place. I also made it a bit longer: I love the Eiffel tower shape it gave to it, very Parisian don't you think?
- Back at home, I used my staircase to shoot my portrait as realistically as possible. I carefully put my camera on its tripod in the very same position that is was in Montmartre, and positioned strobes as needed: one at the top right of my stairs, to simulate the closest lamp, and one at the bottom left of them to reproduce the light from the lamps further away. It worked very well, and next to nothing was adjusted for the composite (except of course the usual levels and white balance adjustments).

Thanks for watching and for the kind feedback, much appreciated!

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 81
Avg (all users): 7.5274
Avg (commenters): 8.8824
Avg (participants): 7.1957
Avg (non-participants): 7.6800
Views since voting: 2847
Views during voting: 443
Votes: 146
Comments: 35
Favorites: 3 (view)


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AuthorThread
09/06/2013 12:54:45 AM
amazing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2013 05:07:15 PM
Truly amazing Christophe, congratulations on the ribbon
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2013 01:25:34 PM
Originally posted by vawendy:

I do love your details. I'm curious if the stairs are real, why not bring the equipment and shoot at the site?

(This really is wonderful, by the way!)


Thank you Wendy!

There are several reasons;
- I wanted a large DoF, so I had to either bump the ISO up, or do a long exposure. I chose the latter, since I am not fond of sensor noise. Moreover, it would be hard to stay there without moving an eye for 30 seconds or so.
- I was alone on the spot, 4am, 200m away from the main "adult" area of Paris. Bringing there large strobes, batteries, outfits, and using a remote was definitely not a good idea. It would probably require several assistants to perform that in good conditions.
- I usually don't know what will be the "best" angle until I review all my shots on the computer. I shot around 50 different points of view, and posing for each one would have been quite a hassle. Not mentioning it took me around 3 hours: then I had to leave, the sun was starting to appear, changing the overall lighting.
- Last but not least, at home, I can take as many self portraits as I need until I am happy with the expression.
09/05/2013 08:38:57 AM
Congrats on your well deserved win. Fantastic mood and composition!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2013 07:52:48 AM
I do love your details. I'm curious if the stairs are real, why not bring the equipment and shoot at the site?

(This really is wonderful, by the way!)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2013 07:16:44 AM
Great hat man
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/05/2013 03:14:54 AM
I do hope your personal safety is not jeopardized by your dedication to your art. Congratulations on the well deserved blue ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2013 02:47:27 PM
I love the little details like the floating leaves and the ticket. I also like your choice of wardrobe ;¬)
Congrats on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2013 02:43:40 PM
Very well merged outdoors and studio parts. Congrats Christoph!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2013 02:27:25 PM
Beautifully accomplished, as usual, Christophe. Thanks for the detailed exposition. Congrats on the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2013 09:36:51 AM
Love it!! :) Congrats!!! Such a great moody image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2013 07:54:53 AM
Glad you won - you deserved it. I would never have guessed that your portrait was shot somewhere else and put in later. Beautiful pp work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2013 06:06:50 AM
Congrats on the blue ribbon Christophe. Another superb image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/04/2013 12:10:09 AM
4am in the morning to shoot on the stairs, now that is dedication to your art, and it always pays off, well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/03/2013 11:56:17 PM
bit french looking 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2013 03:30:30 PM
Great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/03/2013 01:57:45 PM
wonderful perspective
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/02/2013 11:42:01 PM
Great self portrait of the master. Showing much deserved confidence. Always a story in every photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/31/2013 07:08:59 PM
Very artful concept that was beautifully executed. 9 from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2013 10:18:00 PM
I really like the angle and composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/30/2013 05:35:55 AM
Great job, really like this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2013 04:37:17 PM
Gosh...I like this! (no vote...just lurking)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2013 06:09:20 AM
So where are you going? Nicely done but you know that.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/29/2013 03:11:44 AM
Wait don't tell me, I think I know you... ahhh lets see... Craig, er Chester, ah, Charles, ummm Casper, hummm I know it begins with a C.... LOL
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 11:29:55 PM
top 3
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 04:06:59 PM
Splendid as usual Christophe.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 04:04:43 PM
The leaves are a nice touch. Always nice to have Gyaban entry flip onto the voting screen! Be well Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 01:54:14 PM
Love the story being told here. great job
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 11:22:18 AM
So jaunty! Love the tones here, Christophe. And that path that goes on forever. The tilt, however, is setting off my vertigo...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 11:00:03 AM
editing, composition & execution are great, but I just have a personal bias against stuff that looks posed
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 08:33:25 AM
Gorgeous as always!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 04:10:10 AM
You always rocking!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 03:46:39 AM
Superb!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 02:41:41 AM
Superb Christophe, looking forward to seeing all those fancy lamp posts in Europe soon. Your clothing is spot on, the falling leaves and great leading lines all the way to the air balloon, fun image and great overall mood to this. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/28/2013 12:07:05 AM
Beautiful, very emotive.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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