'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 ironical 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.
I hope some will like it!