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About Photography / Hobbyist Premium Member Christophe KiciakMale/France Recent Activity
Deviant for 4 Years
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Liberte d'Expression by gyaban
Liberte d'Expression
Everything photographed and edited by me.

As you probably know, on 7 January 2015 occurred the deadliest act of terrorism in France of the last 50 years. 12 persons died in the offices of "Charlie Hebdo", a satirical newspaper, because they believed in an absolute form of freedom of expression. I must confess this tragedy hurt me deeply. A few days later, a gigantic march occurred in Paris as an historical act of protestation against terror, against censorship. At least everything is not lost, millions of people still believe in those values: it was somewhat heart-warming.

The day after that march, I decided to pay an homage to this reaction, by recreating another version of the famous painting "La liberté guidant le peuple" by Eugène Delacroix. In this version, I replaced all the weapons by pens, pencils, cameras or books, as a metaphor for the defense of freedom of expression.

Of course, that painting involves various characters, and I don't have access to lots of models. As a consequence, I brought my camera at work, and quickly improvised a shooting session. I had no lighting gear at all, so it was a bit challenging, but lots of people spontaneously accepted to pose for the project. Thank you so much everyone! From left to right:
- Olivier, the photographer, always keen for a good laugh
- Simon, the dead clown, and the most helpful guy you'll ever meet
- Ronan, the singer, that definitely does not need a microphone in real life
- Francesca, the social networker, unstoppable whatever the circumstances
- Marianne, la République, my dear wife who guides my life
- Yannick, the paperboy, whose brain is quicker that light
- Luc, the dead book-writer, as clever as Yoda, but much more handsome

It was an ambitious project, very challenging to achieve in a few days (there are 44 different photos assembled in the final image, and I shot around 1000 of them to get there), but I am happy of the result, and I hope others will enjoy it too.

Thanks for watching, et Vive la Liberté !
Shelter From The Storm by gyaban
Shelter From The Storm
Everything photographed and edited by me.

I must be getting old. Hearing random kids talking about their dreams often makes me sad. Extreme attraction for money, fame and power seem to be widespread. What became fantasy, exploration instinct, stars in the eyes, thrill of first passions, knowledge thirst? I suppose these kids are not entirely responsible. After all, they live in the same world I see every day, I shouldn't be surprised by the result. I must be getting old.

Still, I am convinced that children can be given keys to better understand what is really going on around them. With enough explanation and guidance, one can analyze the world underlying mechanisms, and deduce a way to serenely navigate between the dangerous mermaids. However, orienting a kid's mind too precisely can also become manipulation: I refuse my daughter to become a parrot, repeating my words without further analysis and criticism sense. Being a balanced parent is probably a very tough task. As a brand new daddy, I sure am going to give it my best shot: show her various paths when everything points towards only one possibility, give her alternative thought processes, show her how to marvel at the sky, teach her how silence can defeat shouts, give her taste for inner reflection, or simply bring her shelter from the storm.

Thanks for watching, much appreciated!
Holy Wars by gyaban
Holy Wars
When I was a kid, I was a great fan of all the biblical stories. I thought they were perfect illustrations of how Humanity should live: tolerance, love, hard work, solidarity. These values really meant something for me, and I was convinced that spreading the word was the best thing to do to make the world a better place.

Then, as the years passed, I realized that these nice parables were mostly for children. Adults would literally fight each other to *force* anyone not thinking the same way to do so. Despite those values, anyone not willing to follow the very same ideas would be considered as an enemy, and treated as such.

Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about one religion particularly: if one takes a look at History books, it is easy to see how all of them have been used as reasons to conquer, divide, exterminate. They still are: turn your TV set on any news channel, and you are going to see many outrageous examples, from many sides.

While there are lots of good things to be learned from religious books, I really cannot understand how something supposed to raise the spirit have led to intolerance, segregation, violence, wars, and deaths by millions. It really is a great, great shame, and definitely contributed to turn me away from religion. Maybe it is time, in this 21st century, to really forget about religion being used as a political tool. Mixing governments and spirituality sounds so anachronistic to me.

A few words about the creation of this image: I photographed and edited everything, no stock have been used. I first sketched the scenery, to identify the various positions I was going to need, then wore that armor in my home studio and photographed the various crusaders. My wife also posed for the victims. The rest has been shot around my hometown: clouds, ground, fire. Thanks for watching, much appreciated!
Halloween in Hamelin by gyaban
Halloween in Hamelin
Everything photographed and edited by me.

Lobbyists are found in most communities. The most obvious ones are present in politics, or religion, but one can observe them in virtually any field, at much more modest scales. I suppose we all know a colleague telling everyone what they should eat or not, or a neighbor explaining the whole street how lawn is supposed to be mowed. Some would tell everyone around them how kids should be raised, some would spend hours explaining why some TV show should be seen, or why something is art or is not. There are hundreds of similar examples.

What I find dangerous about these persons, is when they act in a unsolicited way. It is one thing to give your opinion when asked for it, but it is a whole another one to stuff your ideas into random mouths. Of course, such little propaganda has often some success, since at a given time, one will always find weaker members in a given community, either affected by personal problems hence more vulnerable, or simply newcomers, uninitiated minds. Rallying others to some cause (even an insignificant one) gives some kind of power, which polishes the ego. It is an easy way to feel important: I suspect this is the reason why I see so many so-called opinion leaders wandering around.

In the "Pied Piper of Hamelin" legend, the piper has the power of luring rats and children away using the sound of his instrument. I decided to use this story as a metaphor for my observations. Moreover, referring to the Halloween theme was a good way to mix folklores, which I always find interesting.

Technically, I started the project by a rough sketch, in order to keep in mind all the different photos I had to take. Then, I brought several rocks in my studio, and photographed them under various angles using the same lighting setup, in order to assemble them in post-processing and create that dangerous path. Meanwhile, my dear wife carved the pumpkin in order to give it a demoniacal smile, which I photographed lit by a mix of candle light and studio strobes, using a long exposure. Then I had to wait for the night, and started a fire in my garden to photograph flames and smoke. Last but not least, I also posed for the piper and the victims: jumping and fooling around naked with a bag on the head was quite interesting ;-)
Arabesque by gyaban
I am not really into goods photography, but for once, I decided to give it a try. Creating an image suitable for jewelry advertisement sounded like an interesting challenge.

As nor my wife nor I possess any precious jewelry, fully designing one from scratch was the only option, not mentioning a fun one. My wife is quite good with a pencil, and she managed to sketch the main lines of the item on a piece of paper. I scanned it and used it as a reference in the project.

From there, I photographed a round, smooth metal bar that I deformed accordingly to create the legs, arms, torso and head of the ballet dancer. My expectations weren't too high, but in the end I was positively surprised by the result: this is definitely a technique I will use again, as it is not that hard and gives nice outputs. Very handy. That project was well worth it experience-wise!

Then, I photographed those little garnets flowers, moving them as needed to obtain the right angle for each shot. Then I assembled them on the canvas to create the dancer outfit. Technically not too hard (provided you have a macro lens and some lighting) but a bit time consuming.

Last but not least, photographing the cat did not work as expected: the model I originally wanted in my picture was not cooperating at all. In the end, one of my other cats came into the room with a posing mood, so I simply adjusted my plans! No regrets from that side, as I love how he looks in there :-)


gyaban's Profile Picture
Christophe Kiciak
Artist | Hobbyist | Photography
I am a self-taught hobbyist, who simply enjoys creating unusual images. My work never contain anything but my own photos, combined into surreal, conceptual, or fantasy oriented pictures. My beloved wife Marianne is helping me, especially on the artistic side of the creations (sets construction, image composition, color choices, overall feeling).

I am convinced that a great deal of what “Art” is lies in doing things differently. In visual arts, looking at things from another angle, modifying the lighting, adjusting an expression, or changing an attitude can bring life to an otherwise dull work. However, seeking difference simply for the sake of it is probably not a good way to obtain the best results. This is where “Creativity” steps in. I would personally define it as the ability to use difference as a tool to bring interest. Therefore, being creative is very important to me. Of course, I often fail at it, but I believe that pursuing that goal is the path I should follow.

Creating a new image is a whole process to me. Some photographers are able to instinctively recognize a worthy situation, find the best angle, and shoot it, all in a matter of seconds: this is a talent I don’t have. However, what I can do is imagine concepts, draw several rough sketches to see how they could be efficiently translated into pictures, determine all the various photos I am going to need, hunt patiently for them, plan additional shooting sessions, and assemble everything on the computer. As a result, my images are like personal statements, a bit like a novel for a writer. Everyone is free to like or dislike them, to agree with my point of view or not, but fact is there is no cheating in them: my images are the direct reflection of my thoughts, the traces of my existence.


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lindenART Featured By Owner Edited Jan 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello Christophe,
Your work is phenomenal and you are very diligent.
And thank you for the honest and technical explanations of manufacture.
I also like the perfection of light and shadow and the dramaturgy.
.... And your sense of humor;-)
gyaban Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Hello! Thanks again for your kind message. I am not sure I am that diligent, but I am having way too much fun! Given your gallery, I believe you know what I mean :)
lindenART Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah of course, thank you.
TinaLouiseUk Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Untitled-1 (5) by TinaLouiseUk  
Paulo-Bert Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thanks for watc, watc back:)
kimsol Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014

Thanks so much for faving :icongromitplz: and :+devwatch: 

music4thechild Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
Man! I'm so impressed. You AAARE an artist. My most sincere congratulations!
Bernardumaine Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for faving !
DugStanat Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you for the watch and fav! :)
megan7 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
Belated happy birthday! :party: 
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