Saturday, January 03, 2015

Creating a PhotoImpression for the final patch

My final entry for the patch, was a photomosaic of all my weekly entries over the year. There are several photomosaic programs around, andreamosaic is a good one which is free to download. To the best of my knowledge there is not a photoshop add-in/filter that can make this type of collage. I have developed my own technique, I call the results photoimpressions, and I have used a variety of software to prepare the image but use a wonderful little utility called mosaic creator to construct the actual mosaic, it has a free trail, a lite and a pro version. The pro version is reasonably priced and gives you the ability to create you own patterns (tile tessellations) and ability to produce enormous mosaics, but would still I recommend you try it first.

The basis of my approach is I am trying to think of colour and composition as an artist might when confronted by a blank canvas. So the first step is like the composition sketch. Not all images are suited to creating a mosaic, you need a strong composition, with a good mix of positive and negative shapes. I often do this step with monochrome versions of the photos.
Choosing the image is a lot like making a compositional sketch

The next step is to prepare all the tile images, which I usuallyenhancing comtrasting colours and supressing the others in lightroom
put in a separate sub-directory (so they are easy to load) and reduce the resolution (about twice the resolution of the size on the final mosaic, this save time and disk space). I also like to control the colours in the palette of tiles. In this case last week’s theme was contrasting colours so I wanted to stick with strong primary colours. The entries through the year are a wide variety of colours, so I decided to run them through a variety of post processes. rather than use the saturation slider, which can make images look very lurid I have instead used the vibrancy sliders in lightroom to simply enhance and/or suppress colours. Alternatively I used some OnOne presets for lightroom to limit the image to a single primary colour.

My library of image tiles based on re-coloured patch entries

The final step, like any mark making by any artist, is very important to conveying your style and intention. I particularly like mosaic creator because I can use a range of tile shapes (as long as the make a regular tessellation). Different shapes create different textures and can have a big impact on the final image appeal. posterizing the lorikeet image in Paint.netTo help strength the lorikeet I have also opted to have gaps between my shapes (simple puzzle pieces) and have the original image showing through the gaps. Also in this case because I only have a limited number of images I had to choose reuse duplicates of the images, and ensure that they are not use too close together, rather than have then used once and resulting in a  very course mosaic, Finally I wasn’t happy with my first few trials, so i ended up converting the lorikeet image to a posterized image with only a few version of the R G B colours (I used for this). This helped to keep the final colours “cleaner” Then I chose to sample both the toning and colour during the mosaic creation step.

You will need to zoom in to recognized the individual patch entries
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