The Average of All Photos One Man Shot in One Year

Photography enthusiast Sterling Parker created this abstract image by averaging all the photographs he shot in 2007. He tells us,

I have my photos arranged by month, and starting in January 2007, I imported all those photos into GIMP (the freeware image editor) as layers, adjusted the whole canvas to be as big as the largest dimension, then used a custom script to “average” all the layers so each one is an equal relative percentage of the whole. The white background is empty space around photos obviously, and you can see that I took more pictures in landscape than portrait.

After doing that for each month, I averaged all the months together (about 8 months total because I didn’t take pictures some months of that year) and then averaged all the months together. Overall, I’d say this is an average of about 350 photos.

It’s interesting how the image reveals both his preferences for portrait/landscape orientation and also his different camera resolutions.

Image credit: Photograph by Sterling Parker and used with permission

  • Jordan

    And also that he likes to compose using the rule-of-thirds with the point of interest in the bottom right. Interesting idea!

  • Jordan

    Bottom left sorry!

  • Samcornwell

    Hello Mr Parker, have you met Idris Khan?

  • Paddy Cassidy

    Very nice. Definitely the coolest image I’ve ever seen created with GIMP. Mr. Parker, would you be so kind as to share with us your script?

  • SodaCitron

    1 year of photography for a nipple

  • Markus Wolpert

    The “Custom Script” is somwhere for download to try it with our own images?

  • Stewart Doyle

    Anyone else able to see the creepy skull in the middle of that thing? I’m guessing there were a lot of portraits in there and it’s just the average of all those faces, but OMG it’s disturbing.

    (I HOPE, really truly HOPE there are a lot of portraits in there, because otherwise… eesh…)

  • Sparda (AMT)

    I see it…

  • tehsuck

    350 photos is definitely an insufficient sample size. i did this several years ago with several thousand and i ended up with a roughly 18% gray card, hahaha

  • Nobody

    I saw a book and a woman wearing a bikini.

  • destroy_all_humans

    all the photos he took in 1 year was 350? I’m just a hobbyist and I take more than that in just 120 film.

  • Ripley

    I see it as a lion. Dark patch bottom left is his nose. Dark patch a little further up and to the right is his left eye. He’s facing to the left. There’s also a lady standing by his eye.