I have been wanting to do a picture wall for a while now but was a little worried about committing pictures to wall for fear that I might mess up the geometry and be stuck with a less than fab picture wall. Trust me I have seen this many times in other peoples homes. I also did not want to have a perfect grid because we wanted to use some of the artwork and frames that we already had. The other reason is that our apartment is really grid’centric and we wanted the focal point of the picture wall to be a bit more dynamic, yet still orderly.
There are some DIY sites and articles on Martha’s site that tell you to measure the wall and translate it to large craft paper on the floor and then mix and match until you are happy with the layout. Then you need to mark the frame placement on the paper and then tape the large paper to the wall and bang nails through the paper, remove and then hang the pictures up.
Well there is a better way if you know how to use Photoshop, have a camera and a tripod.
Step 1. Clear the wall that you are going to hang the pictures on.
Step 2. Set up the camera on a tripod centred and back far enough from the wall that you can get the whole wall in the shot.
Step 3. Take a shot of the wall on it’s own.
Step 4. Now hold the images against the wall and either set the camera to timer or have your spouse, roommate or friend shoot the scene with you holding up each image one at a time. Don’t worry about the placement just hold them in the same spot each time as you will arrange them in Photoshop later. You can see in my image that my hand is in several shots but it does not really matter because the composite if for placement not framing anyway.
Step 5. Import the images into Photoshop and crop them down to just outside their frames.
Step 6. No move them and mix and match them until you have the layout you are happy with.
Step 7. Print out the composite and start to measure out where the images will be placed. The shot is to scale so just make sure that you hang everything to the same proportions of the composite shot and you should have exactly what you envisioned in the Photoshop file.0