Fred Eberhart’s Stitched Mosaics: Capturing What the iPhone Can’t
Today’s smartphones have made it easier than ever before to capture images of just about anything instantly, but we all know that good art takes time. For the past 16 years, we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with Fred Eberhart, a Northern Virginia- based photographer with a specialization in stitched mosaics who began his passion for photography over fifty years ago in the darkroom.
Fred’s professional career in international development and trade led him to a life of regular travels where he brought a camera to capture images of his journeys. When digital cameras and technology became available in the early 2000’s, he says, “I was drawn immediately to the prospect of stitching digital images into horizontally oriented panoramas.”
Fred soon began experimenting with some of the latest technologies, and he discovered he could stitch digital photographs both horizontally and vertically. He says, “The difference – in size, resolution, detail and quality – between a single-shot landscape and a stitched landscape composed of 40 photographs is immediately striking, both to the artist and to the collector.” For the past 16 years, Fred has been committed to the art of stitched digital landscapes, and hasn’t looked back to shooting single shot images.
Fred tells us creating a stitched mosaic is a “very time-consuming process sometimes taking a couple of days to complete.” He continues, “When I find an image I want to capture, I may shoot several arrays of photographs, often standing in the same spot for well over an hour. Back home, I may stitch a couple of the best prospect arrays to determine what the best version is. If I have an array of 30 photographs, I will normally use Adobe Lightroom to create up to five copies of each image in a range of exposures to blend into 30 images that balance the highlights with the shadows.”
“I then use stitching software program to do a preliminary layout of those 30 blended photos in a single image and Photoshop to bring the color, contrast, and most importantly, the feeling of the image as close to that which I experienced in the field. It’s a lot of work, but I get great satisfaction from the process and the result.”
Most of Fred’s shots are taken locally, and as he says, “I don’t have to wander too far from my Fairfax County home to find scenes that I love. I prefer to find quiet relaxing spots that are tucked away and only accessible by trail. I enjoy the entire mid-Atlantic region, but I have by far focused on the many beautiful regions of Virginia. I find that I am particularly drawn to the rivers of Piedmont and mountain Virginia – nothing can be more soothing.”
Fred most recently delivered a large batch of prints to the gallery, including a replacement for the largest format of Robinson River Elms (40” x 40″), (shown below) making that 16 prints sold in the largest format available since we began working together. We’re lucky to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Fred all these years and are excited to see what’s in store for the future! You can view more of Fred’s latest work here.