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The Tool of Tools by gyaban The Tool of Tools by gyaban
'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!
Add a Comment:
vee-kay Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
artbyfieldsofsage Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It somehow reminds me of Rodin's "Gates of Hell."  Very good.
ThreeProngs Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013
Absolutely amazing work! I have featured this image here (and I plan on featuring many more):…
gyaban Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks a lot, much appreciated! :)
ThreeProngs Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013
My pleasure
Jadified Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This leaves me with a very dizzying effect.... I literally had to scroll down so I couldn't see it, and shake it off.

This must have taken a very great amount of time. I can only fathom. ^^I like the symbolism behind it, and the over all everything. - It's kind of hard to look at because it makes me dizzy, but for the period of time that I can look at it, it's nice :D
blizzard2006 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Excellent creativity and work!
gyaban Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks a lot, much appreciated :-)
ChasingShadowsPhoto Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Student Photographer
Holy heck! This is... is... Absolutely AMAZING.
gyaban Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you :) Glad you liked it!
lisa-im-laerm Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow :wow:
chryssalis Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
My fried,you are a genious!This is a FANTASTIC work!!:wow::clap::clap::clap::clap:
dunedan Featured By Owner May 29, 2012
Great picture, nice way you handled the lighting in the sea of hands. Inspireing photography and potoshop skills you possess. Damn 570 masked layers lol
Samanthuel Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your gallery is quite impressive!
I've enjoyed browsing it, thanks for putting so much effort into creating really cool stuff!
AthenaTT Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
BDStudio Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Professional Photographer
O_O wooooow really amazing work
gyaban Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much! Very glad you liked it :)
Kaslito Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Professional General Artist
Impressive work!!!
gyaban Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks a lot!
Kaslito Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
My real pleasure!
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  • Art Print
  • Canvas
  • Photo


Submitted on
April 28, 2012
Image Size
15.4 MB
Submitted with


4,651 (2 today)
118 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Shutter Speed
1/250 second
Focal Length
70 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Aug 29, 2011, 9:58:30 PM
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.0 (Windows)