Atlantea – Merging a collection of stock photos unexpectedly creates a transdimensional metropolis.
At the risk of giving away a secret recipe to graphical awesomeness, I’ve decided to highlight a method of image manipulation I’ve encountered that has been around for a long time but is made significantly easier with the aid of digital technology. This technique is nothing more than the merging of images precisely on top of each other such that the resultant image contains elements of both.
flowerz – I couldn’t find a natural stem straight enough to stand out, so I used an ornamental one.
It’s common practice to employ this technique selectively mixing a few images with layers in Photoshop. But what I’m talking about is 10-25 images on top of each other, pixel for pixel, such that trends of color and shape emerge while the details from each individual image can still be seen.
Burke Laboratory Under Construction – The first one I did. I love the details in this.
I’m putting a space between “photo” and “merging” only because Adobe has a trademark on the term “Photomerge”. They use it for a nifty Photoshop plug-in that combines overlapping images into a single panorama-type image, which is certainly useful for making images with unwieldy aspect ratios, but does not generate any novel visual content.
Underwater – Derived from a bunch of aquatic National Geographic Photos of the Day.
Photo-space-merging (photocombination?) can be achieved with the “Merge to HDR Pro” tool in Photoshop or a specialized app like the (discontinued) Flake for Mac. In fact, it has the same creation process as High-Dynamic-Range imaging, just with a different creative motivation. What I like about the result is that it can be pleasingly textured from a distance, but when you look up close (assuming the resolution is high enough!) there are an astonishing number of details. Makes for great wallpaper!
Lunar New Year in Singapore – The colorful noise may have been due to a flaw in the generative program, but I think it worked nicely in the end.
Other than my own work, I’ve only seen it used to create illuminating “averages” of magazine covers. Seen any other cool uses?