Piece by Piece



“In photography,
the smallest thing can be a great subject.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

I was looking through my archives, searching for inspiration.

For some reason, a series of unedited shots caught my eye – they all featured wonderful architectural details but the overall images were nothing special. And then an idea popped into my head – why not combine these details into a digital collage?

And so, piece by piece, I built this – a combination that lets you marvel at the intricacy and craftsmanship of the individual elements. From the four original photographs, an ode to artistic detail – the components melding into a cohesive whole.

From the smallest things, something new is born.


Texture Tuesday Processing – Photoshop CC

  • Select a series of architectural detail images. Correct perspective distortion.  Crop each to highlight the selected detail.
  • In InDesign, arrange the images into a pleasing mosaic and export as a high-quality jpg
  • Open the combined mosaic image in PS
  • Process my Soft Contrast BW action:
    • Duplicate the background layer
    • Add a Black and White adjustment using the default settings, above the Background layer
    • Select the background layer copy and desaturate. Convert to a smart object
    • Process the Gaussian Blur filter with a radius setting of 40 px
    •  Add a levels adjustment, increasing the highlights. Clip this adjustment to the background copy layer
    • Set the blend mode of this layer to Hard Light and opacity to 80%
    • Group these layers and name “Soft Contrast BW”
  • Add the 99 texture, setting the blend mode to Linear Burn
  • Add a levels adjustment to increase overall contrast, especially in the highlights

Below is the Photoshop layers palette and the collage before texturizing:


Linking with Texture Tuesday, hosted by Kim Klassen


Posted on January 21, 2014, in Photoshop and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. This came out beautifully. It’s so fun watching you experiment with new ways of seeing your work.

  2. You did an outstanding job combining your images to create this beauty. It looks like it was built this way. Beautiful processing also.

  3. Beautifully processed Brenda. The toning gave it a very special look!

  4. What an amazing collage! It looks like it is all part of one structure.

  5. Awesome my friend. Honestly, in glancing just thought it was a unique architecture piece. What a great creative thought to put it together this way. I have trouble making any kind of diptychs or collages other than layering one image over another. As always your processing is amazing. Happy day to you.

  6. My first thought was how much I liked the way you cropped this and then I read…you built it! That’s impressive! Very cool way to use your images!

  7. I too at first thought this was one amazingly decorative building! I love the way you’ve combined details that play off one another – the similarity in the two faces, for example. The final image is amazing.

  8. Very nicely done, and that quote – how true!

  9. Adding the texture sure made a big difference – it transformed an otherwise ordinary picture to one that conjures age and mystery.

  10. Without your explanation, it would be hard to know this wasn’t a single photograph. Well done!

  11. Wow! Until I read your post I didn’t have any idea it was a collage. Great idea and great execution. Love how the processing and textures have pulled it all together.

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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