Tiling Photos

Uh, there's some writing, but it got a bit long, so I put it at the bottom. Please skip down and read it. Then you can click on the pictures to get going.

Blue flowers

Ginkgo leaves

Dead ginkgo leaves

Fallen cherry leaves

Diagonal stone block wall

Moulded cement wall (PSP)

Rough wall (PSP)

Brick wall

Paving pattern

Paving (with weeds)

Paving (wiggly white)

Wood block paving

These are all real photographs of subjects that tile naturally. I remember when I first started looking around the Web for help on this subject, the first hurdle was discovering that the Keyword You Have to Know is "Seamless". This is sort of a pointer to the second hurdle, which was discovering that what most people don't seem to have thought out quite what "tiling" means. Typically, image processing software offers some mindless function for forcing just any photograph to be sort of seamless. Actually the PSP version (select rectangle, Selections > Convert to seamless pattern) isn't bad on an appropriate subject, but you can see it makes no proper attempt to line things up. (See pspwall.) More typically, I suppose you start with a picture of a flower, or something, and end up with a sort of flower-patterned wallpaper. But making a real tiling photo means finding a naturally tiling subject, and then fiddling around with the boundaries so that apart from the patching up of the seam, the whole thing is as the original might have been.

Initially, this project was the result of an idea I had a long time ago, to photograph some of the variety of tilings in use in real life. Mathematical books on tiling are full of wonderful ideas - particularly one thinks of those of Maurits Escher - and real-life tiles are clearly more restricted. Nonetheless, there is some fascination in the shapes available. Then it occurred to me that as well as regular repeating 'proper' tiles, there are irregularly repeating natural patterns, such as flowers and leaves, and I may as well beat some of these into shape too.

So here you are: an offering of tilings. The usual rules apply: you may use them for anything, as long as you credit me (with a back link if you can), and on the absolute condition that any web page in which they are embedded may be used by anyone on the same general basis. There is an additional rule: most of these are classified as "violent", which means that if used as a background for direct text, the text is unreadable. You are therefore required to use them tastefully, and if you do not, our patented taste violation spider-gremlin-detectors will search out your web page, destroy your server, and make your coffee taste funny.