Huw Jones May 7, 2012

luna park triptych

The fun part of playing around with your photo wall is building upon your previous ideas.

Last week I had a look at taking photos of signage, abstracting them into graphic shapes and presenting them as a small photo wall. This has now encouraged me to look at cutting up one single photograph into multiple 6’x4′ images.

As digital cameras are now producing images at such high pixel densities, creating a photo wall by breaking up a single image into multiple 6’x4′ prints has become a reality.

If I was to resample one of my 12 mega pixel 72 dpi raw images into a 180 dpi image, I would be able to print it out at 600 mm x 400 mm – which would give me a flexible 3 x 3 Photocurator photo wall to work with.

Below is a step by step guide on cutting up a digital print into separate files so you can print it out at a photo lab or on your home printer.

Luna Park Face

Looking through my huge ever expanding photo library – I initially chose a photo I took last week of the face down at Luna Park in Sydney.

Photo wall tutorial

I use Adobe Photoshop for most of my image editing but I’m sure the following workflow can be translated into other photo editing software.

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Image Size Menu

The ‘Image’ menu item in Photoshop


[one_half][dropcap3]1[/dropcap3]Open the image in photoshop

Go to the ‘Image’ menu at the top next to the ‘Edit’ menu. Click on Image Size. You could always use the keyboard short cut of command – option – i[/one_half]


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Image Size Menu 2

Un-check the ‘Resample Image’ check box


[one_half][dropcap3]2[/dropcap3]Change dpi but don’t resample the image

Make sure the ‘Resample Image’ check box is un-checked and change the Resolution to 180 pixels/inch and click OK. This is also a good time to tweak your image if you want to (levels, colour, contrast etc).[/one_half]
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marquee tool selection

Where to find the Marquee tool

marquee tool fix size

Fix the size of the marquee


[one_half][dropcap3]3[/dropcap3]The Fixed Size Rectangular Marquee Tool

Select the Rectangular Marquee tool (the keyboard shortcut is ‘m’)

In the top menu under the style drop down menu choose ‘Fixed Size’ and in the width box type 152 mm in the height box type 102 mm.




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Make your selection


[one_half][dropcap3]4[/dropcap3]Copy and Paste

Select your whole image and copy it to your clipboard.

Deselect the image then with the Rectangular Marquee tool selected and set to ‘Fixed Size’, click anywhere on the image (a small 6’x4′ rectangular marquee should appear) now use the ‘Paste into’ command – it’s under the ‘Edit menu’ or use command – shift – v as the keyboard shortcut).[/one_half]
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Luna Park mask

Take the background away


luna park 3 masks

Three new layers with masks making up the composition


[one_half][dropcap3]5[/dropcap3]Moving the Mask Around

To see what you have done, make the original background layer invisible.

Select the mask in the layer you just created and move it around – choose an area of the image that you find interesting.

Once you have found an interesting section of the image re-select the Rectangular Marquee tool and click anywhere on the image (another small rectangular marquee should appear) now use the ‘Paste into’ command again.

Keep creating small rectangular components of the image until you have combined  enough interesting images into what would make a good photo wall composition.[/one_half]

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Save As dialogue box

Save As dialogue box


[one_half][dropcap3]6[/dropcap3]Save the files for printing

Once you have chosen the sections of the image you want to print out save a copy of your image as a jpeg without layers (flattened) – do this as many times as you have images. I like to name them by where they sit on the wall – for example lp_top.jpg or lp_middle.jpg. [/one_half]


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[one_half][dropcap3]7[/dropcap3]Crop and Save

Open one of the images and use the Rectangular Marquee tool (with the Fixed Size setting still on) to select the image that best suits the name you gave to the flattened jpeg and then use the crop tool (under the image menu)


[one_half first]luna park triptych
[one_half]As I was going to the neighbourhood  photo lab to print out the Luna Park triptych I thought I would quickly cut up a couple more images to see how they would work out.

After printing out and putting up the different variations I have already started to think of new directions this technique could take me – stay tuned [/one_half]



More examples

Sydney Harbour Bridge



Boy photo luna park triptych