Photography: Rasterbator

You can find Rasterbator here.

Rasterbator.net is a website that you can use to produce wall art from your photographs. It enlarges your uploaded image for you to print at home on whatever size paper/ printer combination you have. I have access to an A4 colour laser printer which is ideal for this.  You choose how many A4 sheets you’d like the image to cover, the layout of the paper, and if you would like overlaps or guide marks to help you assemble the image. You can manipulate all sorts of settings as you go through the process.

The idea is that you create a halftone image and if you want to do this in colour there are a lot of options available to you. But you don’t have to go for the halftone option. There’s a whole list of effects available to choose from. Be aware that if you just want to enlarge your image and print it, the quality does suffer because the resolution will be reduced. But when you’re looking at a large image on a wall you stand far back enough for the reduced resolution not to matter; the larger the image, the greater distance it tends to be viewed from and the less resolution you need.

I would recommend trying Rasterbator as a something new to do with your images. The creative possibilities are huge, and it’s fun.

Putting the printed sheets together is the really tricky bit. I tend to make my files to print with guides, crop marks and a slight overlap (5mm on the monochrome trees image I’ve included below). If you want to make use of the pdf files I’ve included as examples, you’ll see the guides in the bottom right corner of each image to indicate layout. (You don’t really notice these when the image is assembled an on the wall).

To assemble the images, I just used tape and glue, but I didn’t make them with the idea of them lasting any length of time. If you want the assembled image to last then I’d recommend gluing it to some kind of backing material if you can find something big enough!

To assemble, the columns are lettered A, B, C etc from left to right, and the rows are numbered from top to bottom. So the top left image is A1, to the right of it is B1. A2 sits underneath A1. I’ve provided a layout pdf for these files to help if you get stuck. You’ll see that the screen shots give you a rough size for the assembled image.

You are free to make use of these pdf files for personal use, but they’re just example images so I can’t vouch for the quality of them. (Tip: if you want to print the trees, I’d consider printing just the first 9 pages).

PDF: monochrome trees rasterbator

Screenshot 2019-04-25 at 15.02.59
The image I uploaded and the rough final size. If I were printing this, I would print pages 1 to 9 and skip pages 10, 11 and 12.

PDF: pink comic rasterbator

Screenshot 2019-04-25 at 15.46.23
An idea of how ‘pink comic’ will appear.

PDF: Layout document


About The Original Images

The trees image was originally a black and white film image that I printed at home using an enlarger. I had used a filter in the enlarger to increase contrast but had gone too high. However, I liked the outcome and I took a photo of that print with my mobile phone; it was still damp, the paper had not dried flat yet and this gives the slight bent quality to the trees at the edges of the image, which to me adds something positive to it. I like the idea of taking this analog image and giving it this whole new digital life. I have used Rasterbator just to make an enlargement to print.

IMG_5901.JPG

The pink comic is a self portrait I made just before I started photography at Arts University Bournemouth. It’s taken on Photo Booth on an iMac and I used the Comic Book filter at the time to make a set of images that my son later turned into a one page comic for me. This is the original image:

Photo on 16-08-2018 at 18.09 #2

I decided on pink half-toning because – why not?

 

 

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