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Photo Mosaics Using Polaroid Film

One cannot help but be amazed by the meticulous artistic style of Italian photographer Maurizio Galimberti. The former surveyor is known for reinventing the photographic mosaic in contemporary photography. Galimberti’s work has been called abstract and multi-dimensional and this series is no exception; he photographed the subject several times and then arranged the Polaroids to form a complete portrait, almost like a puzzle. His technique offers in-depth views of his subjects and allows the viewer a more detailed view of everything from George Clooney’s lapel filling the frame to Johnny Depp’s blonde highlights. Even Lady Gaga’s eyeliner got a close-up.

photo mosaic of lady gaga portrait

By combining multiple shots to create one portrait, viewers can pay more attention to the smaller details that make each person unique. The preciseness of his approach is a result of the constant training he had received early on as a young surveyor, giving him a unique and rigorous point of view.

The book Polaroid Pro Art which was published in 1995 after his appointment as the Polaroid’s official spokesperson became an offbeat cult classic for enthusiastic Polaroid camera fans. The Gran Prix Kodak Pubblicità Italia awardee began his foray into photo mosaics when he experimented shooting on his son Giorgio.

photo mosaic of george clooney portrait

Galimberti’s fascination with capturing movement where there is none led to his style of using Polaroids to cascade from one feature of the subject to another. His idea was deemed original that he became critically-acclaimed for it and went on to photograph some of the world’s most iconic personalities and was even asked to be official portraitist at the Venice Film Festival.

In 2011, Impossible, a new producer of instant film, dedicated a black and white instant film to him called the Impossible Maurizio Galimberti Special Edition.

photo mosaic of johnny depp portrait

If you’ll check out Galimberti’s website, you will find a series of photographs called Works Celebrity 2010-2011 that feature photographic mosaics of the likes of Johnny Depp (which became the cover of The Times Magazine in 2003), George Clooney, Kate Winslet, Lady Gaga, Benicio del Toro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sting and many more. His website also includes videos featuring the photographer himself as well as an A-Z guide to his works.

If you’re into photo mosaics, Tango Metropolis by Thomas Kellner might interest you. It is a series of panoramas shot entirely on 35mm film which were laid down roll after roll to create the final image.

Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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