Creating a Photographic Mosaic - Joiner Photography
A fun photographic project involves taking various shots at different times, with different lenses of a particular vista or subject and then joining them together, literary on a poster board.
The images do not have to be all of the same size, actually the idea is for the images not to be of the same size, the same subject or vista yes. Photos that show a city scape at various times during the day and during various seasons can make for a striking study of city life.
For example; you take a shot of a park during the day, then take an adjoining shot with the angle of focus a little to the right, then repeat the shots several times during the day moving the focus point a little to the right each time. The results would be interlocking scenes that when joined together creates a mosaic of sorts of the park but shows different stages, colors and light conditions. Another way of doing this would be to photograph the park several times at different times, but then you would have to cut and paste each shot.
With the mosaic technique, also called Joiner photography, the idea is to make imperfect joints that fit together to represent a complete scene. If using film have the prints made without borders. With digital various photo editing software programs have tools for this.
A good use for this style of photography is to select a scene, landscapes and city scenes work well, and taking shots in the morning, afternoon, at night, during summer, spring, fall and winter. Remember to move the focus point at each session, but interpolate each image; in other words each "next" shot should have a part of the "before" shot. This is hard to explain but the samples should help you better understand.
Another fun alternative is to include a person or a prop or basically anything and move that subject every time you take a shot. The results will off course show the different positions of the subject like as if it was moving. It results in an interesting and fun photographic project. The market for this style is in photographic publications, how to guides and even in art galleries.
Because you cannot exactly match the exact position and angle of the last shot taken, it creates a series of images that to create a total scene must be carefully joined together. Take shots at horizontal and in vertical formats, they add to the technical aspects of the image. Be creative and if using a person, use various changes in their attire for a surreal effect.
Once you have your mosaic done, you can go further and photograph it to make one image of the complete series. This is often more practical and it becomes easier to frame or submit, as it should be obvious of the impracticality of submitting several shots that have to be joined or to submit a large poster with many images stuck together.
It helps to draw a rough sketch of the entire vista once you have selected it and annotate the parts of which you take an photo, note the times also, and make a mark on the sketch of where one part ends and the other begins.
This helps give you a rough idea of what the process looks like and helps keep in you in track so that you don't take the same shot all over again. Still life's are the easiest to work with as you can shoot the entire project in one session. The same technique can also be applied when working with people.
You can also add borders with a photo editing software if you want to create a different approach and perceptiveness or eliminate them altogether making for a seamless composition. Photoshop has many border selections and options that can enhance the total composition.
Off course you can get very creative and mix parts from one scene for another, so long as they add to the total composition. If you are going to venture this way, then try using variants in color.
- How-To: Make your own photo mosaics
This week's How-To shows how to take just about any ordinary image you've taken with your digital camera (or from the web) and make a photo mosaic. A photo mosaic is one large image made out of hundreds and thousands of tiny images from your personal
© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez