Shooting Challenge: Photomosaics

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One photo made of many photos. Simple tools can create the effect, but can you defy what's become cliché? That's the question we pose to you for this week's Shooting Challenge.


The Challenge

Create a photomosaic, a photo made of several smaller photos. (It can be a few. It can be thousands.) However! Make sure that every photo is your own. Also, while I won't require that every single photo inside the main photo be shot this week, your main photo, the mosaic template itself, must be.

That said...

The Technique

If you want to do something more with photomosaics, then advanced execution will come down to the tiny, individual photos. They shouldn't be random filler photos. Rather, they should relate thematically to the main shot, bring out another meaning or do something particularly interesting from an aesthetic perspective...or, most ideally, all of these things.

In terms of how you can pull this off...
Brighthub has a fantastic-looking list of 8 different pieces of freeware photomosaic software. (Add your favorites in the comments.)

Of course, you could entirely create your mosaic manually as well, especially if it uses a photo-frugal yet creative arrangement.


The Example

Flickr member Dan4th created this lead photomosaic. What's effective about it is that his base subject, the eye, has large enough features that it can be recognized without a great deal of fidelity. Detailed scenes seem pretty impossible for photomosaics. (That said, prove me wrong!)


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, March 28th at 8AM Eastern to with "Mosaic" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameMosaic.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameMosaicWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

Mark Wilson is the founder of photography blog Life, Panoramic as well as Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.