with a little help from my friends

San Francesco Mural – by JR

Toronto. My good friend George Dunbar unearthed this digital montage in the Guardian as reported in a column by Glen Helfand entitled, “Tech bros, socialites and Metallica: the mural capturing San Francisco in 2019“. Only part is shown here – see the Halfand article for more of the mural and its video and animated GIF components.

Montages have been around for at least a century. The best known in photographic circles are perhaps those of William Notman. In the days before high speed wide angle lenses and fast media, it was impossible to get everyone in position and still for a shot (group action shots are still tenuous). Notman’s solution was to design the scene first, then shoot each person in the appropriate position and size. Each person was printed and carefully cutout and positioned on the original design. The montage was re-photographed and then copies were sold.

In 1967, the Beatles‘ famous album, “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released (I have both LP and CD versions). The cover shot was a montage of celebrities with their location and names listed. Just another example of the use of montages. Today, with computers and digital technology, the result is far more life-like than the old cut and paste efforts of days gone by.

Note: the title of this post is the name of the second song on the album.

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