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Photomosaics (An Owl book) [Paperback]

Robert Silvers

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Book Description

1 Oct 1997 An Owl book
A book which blends together the technology of advanced image database manipulation with the art of photography, the effects being images made from many smaller pictures.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool, cool, cool. I'm so envious of the people involved! 31 Mar 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and intricate 25 July 2000
By Joanna Menendez - Published on Amazon.com
The photomosaics in this book are the most superb that I have ever seen. The book provides close-ups, so that you may see each individual picture. The book has a wide variety of photomosaics, and the one that touched me the most was the AIDS Memorial quilt one. This is a fabulous for photography busts, and non-photography books alike. This is an amazing collection that can be appreciated by many people.
4.0 out of 5 stars Phony Photomosaics 2 Nov 1997
By G. Houbart <gilberte@media.mit.edu> - Published on Amazon.com
You may have noticed ads or images that looked like Rob Silvers' Photomosaics and you may even have thought he was the author. As in any art forms, people try to copy and mimic what has proved successful, trying to catch the wave. This often fails and the public will need the time to learn to appreciate the differences and distinguish high quality work from pale copies. For instance Rob has perfected his technic to the point that he doesn't colorize the tiles in order to represent the desired overall shape. Not only does he look at the colors in the tiles but also at the shapes they contain, looking for the best match. What I loved about the book is that it really helps you learn visually about those details and fully appreciate the value of the work. I wish that a more elegant stock paper had been used for the cover of the book. Not to mention that the back cover is particularly unelegant with the use of large yellow type. The rest of the book supports a lot better the beautiful images.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book! 27 Feb 2013
By jess - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A great gift for someone who loves photography! I gave it as a gift, but enjoyed it so much I got one for myself.
5.0 out of 5 stars An art form that will always amaze me 5 Jun 2010
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
Using a large number of small images to create the impression of a larger image is an art form that I find fascinating. In this book, Silvers presents 28 photomosaics, everything from classic artwork such as the Mona Lisa to images from Star Wars. For most of the images, a blow-up of a small section is included so that you can see the structure of the image.
In general, the small images are of objects related to the large image. For example, the image of Bill Gates, for years the richest man in the world is constructed using images of paper money around the world. The image of Darth Vader is constructed using images from the Star Wars series of movies. I found this to be one of the most interesting collections of artwork I have ever looked through.
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