Christophe Kiciak: Blog en-us (C) Christophe Kiciak (Christophe Kiciak) Wed, 23 May 2018 22:54:00 GMT Wed, 23 May 2018 22:54:00 GMT Christophe Kiciak: Blog 90 120 Holy Grail found on Mars! Did you know that the Lady of the Lake actually hated water? She was so despaired with it that one day, she visited Merlin, and asked for help. Together, they constructed the biggest catapult ever, able to project men at Earth escape velocity (about 25.000 mph - yes, the Lady of the Lake was fond of fundamental physics). Promptly, they both used it to reach Mars, which offered some of the nicest beaches of the milky way. Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, sick with all the rust on their armors, also joined the party on the red planet. Problem is, Mars offers no wood: impossible to build another giant catapult to come back! Fortunately, Elon Musk, in an attempt to obtain eternal life through the Grail, is currently riding his space car to get there. Chances are for the Lady of the Lake to get a ride back. Unless the car battery runs out, of course.


Holy Grail found on Mars!Holy Grail found on Mars!

(Christophe Kiciak) armor arthur beach cosmos cup eternal excalibur grail holy humor knight knights mars merlin musk sand space Wed, 23 May 2018 22:54:04 GMT
Memories We all have to live with losses in mind. It often hurts. Still, I would say it is important to cherish your memories. Compared to photos or videos, they can be inacurrate, partial, blurry, fading with time... yet they are yours. Nothing can replace them. When you close your eyes, and imagine those moments, you can live them again. And again. Sorry for the cheesiness, it is just one of these nostalgia days.



(Christophe Kiciak) death departure grieve memories miss sadness sorrow Wed, 09 May 2018 15:31:41 GMT
Spamalot Yannick, a friend of mine, is a hobbyist actor. He is working hard in a theatre troupe called "Singing on the Roof". Despite them being all French people, they love to play in English, mostly Broadway-style musicals. This year, they are going to present "Spamalot", the famous "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" inspired musical comedy. I was more than happy to help them with the poster.

First, my wife and I designed the main concept. We wanted to show some humor, the Grail had of course to be there, and the main characters had to be displayed in a clear way. Moreover, some negative space had to be left around them, for the various texts and stuff that had to be added as well. After a few different tries, we validated a project, and they all came to my place, for a photo shooting session! Needless to say, it was great fun: I had a blast asking them to fool around in their costumes ;-)

The show will happen in Paris, end of June. All the details and credits can be found on their website. You can see the fully finalized version of the poster there too (including the copyrighted Monty Python text that I didn't include here for legal reasons).




(Christophe Kiciak) arthur grail king lancelot monty montypython montypythonandtheholygrail ni poster python spamalot theater Wed, 09 May 2018 11:28:08 GMT
Winner in 1x Photo Awards 2017! Today I am proud to announce that the voters were kind enough to grant me the People's Choice category winners in 1x Photo Awards 2017!

It is a fantastic honor, thank you all.


The Great CovfefeThe Great Covfefe

(Christophe Kiciak) 1x award covfefe creative edit winner Tue, 27 Feb 2018 07:31:29 GMT
Jazz JazzJazz

(Christophe Kiciak) band brass cubism jazz music musician musicians saxophone yellow dress Sat, 09 Sep 2017 17:33:28 GMT
The Great Covfefe Categories are a very useful concept. Most evolved form of life would probably not exist without this concept. For example, distinguishing edible food from poison, distinguishing a nice road from a dangerous cliff, or distinguishing a friendly person from a serial killer are obvious cases. Based on this experience, human beings crafted many other categories: what is tasteful and what is not, what is beautiful and what is not, who drinks alcohol and who doesn't, who listens to heavy metal and who listens to jazz, who plays football and who plays chess, who earns a lot of money and who does not, who speaks English and who does not, the list goes on. Why this need of categories? I suppose that a first explanation is straightforward: when one wants to stay in his comfort zone, it is handy to quickly identify what or who corresponds to the criteria. Categories work as road signs: they help us taking the path we look for.

That being said, it is easy to see how having too many categories can quickly become counter-productive, just like hundreds of signs per mile wouldn't make a road safer nor easier to use. Yet, I have the feeling that we reached that point: it is like no decision, no opinion, no thought can be achieved without categorizing everything to the last extent. In fact, we are even educated this way: it is now extremely hard to avoid thinking within pre-made categories. This is quite sad, because all these categories create boxes around everything and everyone. Even sadder, our society looks at the situation as a normal fact, to the point we do ask for, and love this segregation.

It is nothing new, but electing leaders simply because they promise to segregate more, is disheartening. Categories were supposed to be a useful tool for everyone, not a convenient way for the cynical to gain power. Your voice for the promise of walls...


The Great CovfefeThe Great Covfefe


As usual, everything photographed and edited by me, no stock.


(Christophe Kiciak) beksinski boxes capitalism covfefe dictator king master mysterious segregation slaves surreal trump wall Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:19:11 GMT
Dundalk Photographic Society, Ireland I have just had a fantastic experience in Ireland, meeting the Dundalk Photographic Society!

My dear friend Gabriel O' Shaughnessy is one of their incredible members, and kindly invited me there this year.
I had the privilege to perform a 2h long talk there, explaining my work, showing examples and behind the scenes: the reception was just fantastic! I can't say how delighted I am, these extremely talented photographers were open minded, and made me really feel very welcome here. I had a blast!
The next day, I spent a few hours reviewing all the entries of their 2017 annual exhibition, and shall I say: wow! So many great pictures, it was very hard to choose winners. The ceremony that occurred in the evening was also very successful, and I was fortunate enough to shake the hands of all these incredible photographers!

The next day, Gabriel and Damien O' Malley (Chairman of the Dundalk Photographic Society) also took me out for some ride through Ireland: look at me enjoying every seconds of it :-) Thank you so much guys, and I hope we can meet again soon enough!

(Christophe Kiciak) Mon, 24 Apr 2017 06:48:12 GMT
"Mother Love" won Silver Medal at the Trierenberg Super Circuit I am delighted to announce that "Mother Love" won the Silver Medal, category "Experimental", at the world's largest international photo contest: the Trierenberg Super Circuit.

Additionally, many of my pictures have been accepted into the official 2017 catalog, which makes me happy and proud being there in such good company!


Mother LoveMother LoveNo stock, everything photographed and edited by me.
Imagining what life could be like elsewhere in the universe is an essential question to me. When I was a child, it really was something that kept me awake at night. I remember lying in my bed, in the dark, closing my eyes as firmly as I could, staring at the psychedelic colors that one can spot in such situation, pretending these were the stars that other lifeforms could see in their own skies.
Human beings are mostly frightening. No need to be specific here, just look at the news. What if beings from other planets would arrive tomorrow? What would they think of us? Would they agree with the arbitrary choices that we have made long ago, that are almost never questioned down there? For example, they would discover that humans have drawn imaginary lines, in order to split the planet in what is called 'countries', then fight each other, because some inhabitants are jealous about what others have on 'their' parts. They would see that some have easy access to food and water, while others are starving to death. Even inside a given country, they would see that some have access to knowledge and education, while others can't read nor count. Inequality and intolerance is everywhere. I would love to see aliens from outer space come and visit us: maybe their external opinion would make us think a bit about this shameful show we are currently giving to the cosmos.
But how could they actually look like? It is of course very hard to tell. Scientists would probably try to guess according to their living environment (for example, gravitation level, components in their atmosphere, etc.) but evolved beings could have negated these effects with their technology, so in the end, it is pretty much unpredictable. However, by definition, any life form is supposed to... live. This implies some kind of reproduction (or immortality, and even then, there is the problem of the first individuals). Of course, this reproduction does not necessarily involve a male and a female, many variations are possible (parthenogenesis, hermaphroditic reproduction, sexual reproduction with 2 or more individuals, or even other ways such as fully synthetic reproduction). Regardless of the way, the process probably establishes a relationship between the creator(s) and the created. Would the creator(s) be proud, happy? Would the created be thankful, or appreciative? Would some kind of love exist? Maybe naively, I tend to think so. This is what I wanted to depict here: in life, appearances may not be always up to our personal tastes, but positive and warm feelings still do exist.

(Christophe Kiciak) Mon, 24 Apr 2017 06:23:38 GMT
Close Encounter of the Swimming Kind Just a silly picture I've done a few days ago, when I was bored ;-)


Close Encounter of the Swimming KindClose Encounter of the Swimming Kind

(Christophe Kiciak) ground road surreal swim swimmers under Mon, 24 Apr 2017 06:16:42 GMT
Sirens' Song The original sirens myth is quite outdated. Nowadays, sirens are not just a few mysterious creatures living far from civilization on a distant island. In fact, a vast amount of men and women are actually sirens. Our modern times tend to glorify fame and profitability over anything else. "Personal branding" is perceived as a positive value: many consider the opinion others have of them as a key to an happy life. "Followers", "Fans", "Likes" are highly wanted trophies. Loads of books exist, explaining to the masses how the should behave, what they should show or hide of themselves, in order to maximize consideration.

Are individual personalities really products? Are we ranked by our amount of fans? Is compliance to the dominant ideological standards the only way? For example, when I hear our political leaders, I am often extremely disappointed. Why are they even talking about their personal life? Why is it of any importance that this candidate likes running in the morning, while that other one prefers reading poetry? In the end, what matters are ideas and programs, not the color of the hair or the person's preferred food. Yet, crazy amount of money is spent on marketing and communication, just like for the average new car.

While I of course understand why we are there, and why these techniques are efficient for their users, I still can't prevent myself from being disappointed. It would be too sad to just abandon utopia and ideals. Can't we outsmart marketing? Can we build a saner world? Can't we focus a bit more on global ideas and fate, instead of contemplating our little navels? I believe so. It all starts by putting some ear plugs, so the sirens can keep singing all they want, without interfering with what is really in our minds. Try to think about it next time you come across one of these creatures!


 Special thanks for my wife and my coworkers (Clément, Yannick, Simon, Luc and Vincent) who posed for this image.

Sirens' SongSirens' Song

(Christophe Kiciak) boat elections luring mariners mermaids music mythology mythologygreek ocean odysseus political sailors sea sirens song sound trap ulysses vote Fri, 31 Mar 2017 20:00:56 GMT
Best in competition for The Duel! I am very proud to announce that "The Duel" just won the "Strong & Powerful 2" competition organized by Exhibitions Without Walls! This is a great honor, and I would really like to thank the judges, as well as Ed Wedman for creating such open minded competition. Please check out their website, and feel free to enter the next challenges!


The DuelThe Duel

(Christophe Kiciak) Sun, 20 Nov 2016 14:33:32 GMT
Not Dark Yet This one has been inspired by Bob Dylan's song, "Not Dark Yet".

Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day
It’s too hot to sleep, time is running away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t heal
There’s not even room enough to be anywhere
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there’s been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writing what was in her mind
I just don’t see why I should even care
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

Well, I’ve been to London and I’ve been to gay Paree
I’ve followed the river and I got to the sea
I’ve been down on the bottom of a world full of lies
I ain’t looking for nothing in anyone’s eyes
Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

I was born here and I’ll die here against my will
I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there


Not Dark YetNot Dark Yet

(Christophe Kiciak) bob carafe closed creatures cyclops dark demented dylan eyes open see song strange surreal tap tormented water Wed, 02 Nov 2016 01:27:58 GMT
City Shadows Our society is very pyramidal. At the bottom, there are lots of persons, doing potentially thankless jobs: farmers, builders, bakers, phone operators, cashiers, maids, postmen, waiters, sweepers, cleaners, sandwich sellers, or even homeless people, the list goes on.  On the upper layers, persons are richer and richer towards the top, and also less numerous: doctors, bankers, lawyers, notaries, politicians, businessmen, rich heirs, etc.

I often wonder if things could be organized differently, not just locally, but on a global scale. Have you ever heard of eusociality? This word defines advanced society organization in animal life. For example, bees are organized in a way that individual interest is totally erased by community interest: even the queen itself, although unique in a hive, doesn't have much to enjoy from a personal point of view, since she is totally dedicated to reproduction and can't even feed herself.

Of course, imagining a new organization would imply defining a given goal. What priority should we choose? What long-term purpose could we aim at? Are we only supposed to live as comfortably as possible, reproduce ourselves, then die, without any other precise objective? As far as I'm concerned, I would love some focus on fundamental research: how the universe got created, what are his laws, and ultimately, what purpose serves our presence in there (if any). Obviously, other persons may have other various opinions on such topic. What would be yours?

In any case, I am quite convinced that some more solidarity could go a long way. People being lucky enough to live in the higher steps of the social pyramid (I include myself in here) may give some more consideration to others that are in need of help. Even from a purely ethnocentric point of view, whatever the awaiting challenges are, human beings can only be stronger as a whole if solidarity becomes the rule.


City ShadowsCity Shadows


(Christophe Kiciak) capitalism champagne couple drunk ghosts girl hands night party poverty pyramid scary shadows short skirt society strange street surreal Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:09:03 GMT
Once upon a shoe My lovely daughter is now 2 years old, and she really is now letting her imagination flow. She loves playing around, giving any item an unexpected role in her invented scenarios. It makes me smile to listen to her little stories, and looking at her enjoying her time!
Recently, she was pretending she was "fishing", while in fact she was playing with a stick in a puddle. This gave me the idea to create this image: I'll make sure to remind her those cherished days when she's older :-)


Once upon a shoeOnce upon a shoe

(Christophe Kiciak) autumn big fishing footstep footsteps green leaves liliputian miniature moss nature puddle shoe small Fri, 07 Oct 2016 06:37:18 GMT
La Baie des Anges Everything planned, photographed and edited by me.

France, 14th of July 2016. The country is celebrating its National Day. As every year, spectacular fireworks are displayed in almost each city, attracting lots of people, families, children. It is one of these occasions where joy can temporarily make sadness disappear. Alas, not this day. In the city of Nice (located in the south of France, next to the sea), a few minutes after the fireworks, a man managed to drive with a cargo truck through the crowd, killing 85, and injuring hundreds. Among the dead persons, mothers, fathers, even children, who were unfortunately on the path of the truck.

I don't feel like commenting on the geopolitical nor religious situation that led there. I am too sad to think or analyze. For now, I'd rather stick to some of the stories the survivors told. For example, a mother and her 4 years old daughter were in line to buy candies, when the truck arrived on them. The woman saw the truck a couple of seconds before the impact, and immediately understood what was going on. She managed to grab her girl, and lie with her on the ground, just between the wheels of the truck, letting it pass above them. Miraculously, they both made it. Of course, the little girl and her mother witnessed lots of horror this night. A few days later, back on the street where it all happened, the girl asked:"Mummy, where do the dead children go?" She wanted to leave her very favorite toy on the ground, as a gift for them. The mother answered: "Don't worry, they are with their parents in the heaven". Then, the girl took her toy back and said: "We, for ones, are not dead. Do you remember when you put me back on your belly as when I was a baby, to save me from the bad truck who stole my candies?"

The sea portion just next to this street is called "Angels Bay", "La Baie des Anges".

La Baie des AngesLa Baie des Anges

(Christophe Kiciak) angel angels bay bear cliffs death demons france nice ocean plush sea teddy terror terrorism toy waves wings Mon, 15 Aug 2016 20:39:44 GMT
The Duel Everything photographed and edited by me, no stock.

Sometimes, unexpected challenges arise. I love trying to predict what could happen from there, or what could have happened "if". Do you? It is a little mind sport that I can't prevent myself from practicing. For example, I can spend significant time thinking about one of my reactions in a given situation, then imagining the other possible outcomes depending on various behavior. Of course, one could say that such thoughts are useless, since the action is past. True, in a way. However, I do know that it actually helped me: in life, many scenes are repeating themselves, and having studied all the possibilities on a similar case permits me acting more appropriately on-the-fly. Experience, I suppose.

Speaking of flies, this is quite a big one. This is where my thinking gets a bit less useful in everyday life: I also can't prevent myself from elaborating scenarios that are wildly unrealistic. It's fun, it makes me smile, so why not? A few days ago, I was walking in the woods, while I heard some shots in the wind: hunters. It really is hard to love these guys. Seriously, running after some defenseless animal with dogs and riffles? For entertainment? What wrong is with them? It would be amusing to see them facing some real opponent. For example, a giant deer, or a giant boar. They would be quite surprised, wouldn't they? Would they still face it, even if the odds suddenly were against them? I doubt it!

Similarly, I always feel bad when I see someone coldly killing a bug. I believe that such behavior is a bit like what those silly hunters do: killing for your own comfort, allowing it simply because there is no risk doing so. What about life respect? Even if one is actually bigger and stronger, does it justify death? Some say that in nature, it is how things work: the strong lives, the weak dies. Well, if human beings are really that smart, maybe it is time to evolve from this ancestral rule.

A few technical notes about the fly shot: I found the insect in the basement of my house. It was already dead. I photographed it using focus stacking: 22 shots were necessary, at f/16 with the fantastic MP-E 65mm lens. Thanks for watching!

The DuelThe Duel

(Christophe Kiciak) bug combat conceptual death disproportionate duel dueling fight fighting fly flyswatter focus giant insect killing macro moon night proportions stacking surreal swatter Fri, 25 Mar 2016 08:17:59 GMT
The Sea Shepherd I dearly cherish silence. The day starts with some music to wake up. The cats beg for food. Steps resonate on the stairs. The coffee machine noisily grinds some beans. The toothbrush scrapes. The shower throws water. The motorbike roars. The phone keeps ringing. Useless talks, pointless laughs. Spoons, forks, plates. More talks, more laughs. TV shouts, colors shout, cars honk. More noise, many more. And finally, silence. I dearly cherish silence.

I deeply hate silence. If you remain silent while in trouble, there won't be any help. If you remain silent while lying on the street, you will be ignored. If you remain silent instead of sharing your thoughts, you will stay alone. If you remain silent, others will decide for you. If you remain silent while your peers are decimated, you will disappear with them. I deeply hate silence.

Time for bed.


The Sea ShepherdThe Sea Shepherd

(Christophe Kiciak) Sat, 19 Mar 2016 01:03:56 GMT
Narcissism When I was a kid, I was extremely shy. I remember that the simple sound of the ringing phone was enough to make me run in another room: I was terrified by the idea of speaking to someone. Similarly, buying some candies at the grocery was a great challenge, since it involved talking to the shopkeeper. Of course, this became even more of a problem when I started to go to school, since avoiding everyone else was not an option anymore.

I am not sure where this fear of others came from. Retrospectively, I suppose that I was seriously lacking in the self-confidence department. For some reason, I wasn't very fond of myself: I was convinced that my body was awkward, that my movements were unnatural, that my thoughts were unusual. As a result, I spent years being jealous of the popular kids, secretly looking at them with envy, wondering what I could do to become like them. Slowly, I understood that I first had to believe more in my own potential.

However, while some amount of self-confidence seems suitable, when does it become narcissism? What is the point to constantly feel superior, to constantly love yourself, without any objectivity? It is probably a great way to never improve nor evolve. If one turns the TV on, or reads some news, it is easy to spot dozen of self-proclaimed celebrities, who keep staring at their own belly, certain that they are so interesting for the rest of the world. Even when looking around you, I am sure you can think of someone acting a bit like that, living only for recognition. It is a bit sad really, but I suppose it is directly resulting of how our capitalistic society works. Individual performance is often praised. I hope this trap won't get Humanity stuck in a vicious circle.

Finally, I would like to thank my stepmother for her help: we were chatting about this topic and how to depict it, when she told me about multiple mirrors and infinite reflections. This greatly helped me come up with this concept.


(Christophe Kiciak) circle conceptual frame infinite men mirrors narcissism reflections vicious Fri, 26 Feb 2016 22:21:07 GMT
Family Just a little trip to the woods with our adorable daughter!



(Christophe Kiciak) autumn baby bear bee child childhood dad disguise family forest fun funny honey humor humour kid mother parenthood parents teddy woods Fri, 26 Feb 2016 22:19:28 GMT
Space Oddity Anywhere, anytime, you always are supposed to be what is expected of you to be. You are supposed to be a competitor. You are supposed to stay fit. You are supposed to dream about luxury cars. You are supposed to organize your life around your kids. You are supposed to be funny at parties. You are supposed to be reasonable, but supposed to look at those not being so.

This pressure is a nightmare. It destroys, by averaging things. It is so hard to resist to. Fortunately, some inspiring artists are leading the way. David Bowie was a fantastic example of such integrity: always seeking, always experimenting, always innovating, regardless of the critics. Thank you so much Mr Bowie. You will be greatly missed.

Space OdditySpace Oddity

(Christophe Kiciak) blackstar bowie can conceptual cosmos fire flower inspiration oddity space star surreal tin Wed, 20 Jan 2016 01:15:57 GMT