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Creating a Photographic Mosaic - Joiner Photography

Updated on October 7, 2013
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Source

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.

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Denizee; thanks for the comment, there are other hubs that will really inform him. Hope you and your son enjoy them.

      Again, thank you

    • profile image

      Denizee 6 years ago

      Interesting and very creative. I'll pass this on to my son he's the photographer in my home - I'm sure he's never heard of anything like this before. Kudos, voted up for the originality and useful information you provided.

      Thank you.

    • Radioguy profile image

      Radioguy 6 years ago from Maine

      What a clever idea! Voted up!

    • DaveysRecipeRead profile image

      DaveysRecipeRead 6 years ago

      Another great hub, packed, once again, with good information for all of us who aren't professionals. Thanks for the really solid work!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great example photos for this hub! I have not attempted this technique before, but I'm sure that it would be a lot of fun.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      A well written hub, sounds like something I can do....voted up

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Gabby0506; Picnik is a user friendly program that gives you fast and easy access. It also works well with any web browser. It is the default editor for Flickr and integrates easily with sites such Facebook. A premium version can be obtained for around $25.00.

      Key points: Easy to use, works with any browser, web based, can be used with a guest access.

      Low points: Because it's a web based program adds sometimes appear when using.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

      The hub has given us the clue to venture Photography in different angles.

    • gabby0506 profile image

      gabby0506 6 years ago from Bangalore

      I use Picasa and photoshop to edit my photos. What do you think about Picnik?

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      ianleverette47; Yes you can join them with Photoshop or basically any photo editing software program

    • ianleverette47 profile image

      ianleverette47 6 years ago from Brinston, Ontario Canada

      I like it.

      Think I'll give it a try.

      Can I use just photoshop to join photos?