Unfortunately the review form doesn't let me enter a rating above 10!
A Photomosaic is, as the name suggests, a mosaic of photos. Hundreds or thousands of images reduced in size and placed on a grid so as to create an impression of a larger, overall image. The 'tiles' used are selected for their color, shapes and shading within the image so as to most truthfully represent the relevant section of the larger image. What's more, the descriptive content of the 'tiles' is usually relevant to the larger image. Some of the best examples of this are the widescreen stills used from George Lucas's Star Wars in generating larger images of Darth Vader, and Yoda, and civil war photographs used to create an image of Abraham Lincoln.
The book contains 96 pages with 28 full page photomosaics, and in addition often has enlarged sections of each image to show the smaller image content. Interspersed with the images are thought provoking quotes relating to the pictures, and an all too short introduction briefly describes how photomosaics came about. (Not technical enough in my opinion). The images are created in a 6 color printing process for exceptional quality results
This is is one of those ideas where I think to myself - 'I wish I'd been involved in this'. As the artist/creator Robert Silvers says - 'This is for lovers of pictures'. One of my main interests in computing is the generation of images by use of computers, whether it be popular methods such as fractals, ray-tracing or any other form of computer art. Even the 3D Eye auto-stereogram pictures are computer generated. (I assumed the dig on the back cover in respect of the fact that everyone can see photomosaics, was in reference to these auto-stereograms!)
This concept of using pictures to create pictures seems simple on the surface and sounds like another easy money maker for someone along the line. Maybe it is, but the technology behind creating such pictures is leading edge and was performed by Rob Silvers as part of his Masters at MIT Media Lab. The amount of work involved in collating tens of thousands of images from all sorts of sources, and then analyzing each image as to color and shading content, underlying shapes within the image, and descriptive content of the images is immense. All sorts of tricks were used to speed up and improve the quality of the photomosaics produced.
If I were to have this as a coffee-table book at a party, I would need one per visiting guest, and I would get a quiet thirty seconds whilst people got the gist of the book and then it would be the talk of the evening. (Maybe that's an indication of my guests rather than the book!)
I would dearly have loved to have been involved at that exciting development stage of the (patent pending) technology, but sadly this book is likely to be as near to being involved as I ever get. Mind you it is hard, in any case, not to get involved with this fascinating book. I shall be putting an order in for my 1999 calender as soon as it comes out.
This review comes from somebody who does NOT live in Boston, unlike many other reviewers!!