Josh Sommers Creates Escheresque Photos Using His Own Math Formula [Big Picture]

Josh Sommers from Petaluma, California, USA, has mastered the art of creating Escheresque photographs and has decided to reveal the secret mathematical formula behind these incredible hypnotic ‘droste effect’ images

Josh Sommers, a 32-year-old software engineer from Pataluma, CA, has mastered the art of manipulating images into incredible work of art. He uses his own mathematical algorithm to create these incredible hypnotic panoramas images.

“Photography is more than just a hobby of mine, it is a crucial creative outlet that I am very passionate about. Through photography I am able to express moods, emotions and visions that cannot be expressed in any other way. My goal is to never stop learning and photography provides an excellent means to be sure that I attain this goal.”

Mr. Sommers, who has decided to scrap tradition and share the code with other artists all over the world, said: “I saw my first droste effect picture in late 2006 and it blew my mind – I wanted to learn how to create images like that. So I contacted the artist who had created the one I saw and while he refused to share the actual formula he used, he pointed out the tools I needed to use and a few articles to help me.”

The 32-year-old software engineer spent months of practice and hard work but could still not quite master the technique. But one day another artist saw how close he was and gave him the final piece of the puzzle. “With this guy’s help”, explains Josh “I was able to develop my own formula for the effect and started creating droste images immediately.”

Mr. Sommers said: “Once I had it working I decided to make the formula publicly available on the Internet. It was something I swore to do when that first artist wouldn’t share his technique with me. I created a step-by-step tutorial on how to create your own and to date it has been viewed about 50,000 times and reproduced on other sites countless times.”

Soon after his tutorial started attracting hits from all over the world a software developer contacted Josh and ported his formula into a Photoshop PixelBender plugin. This gave people who could not figure out the formula the ability to use and animate the filter.

Since his first droste effect creation Josh has made more than 160 images. He added: “My personal favourite is probably The Eternal Scream – I have done several variations on it but the original has around 200,000 views to date and around 100 reproductions online in various collections, blogs and other sites.” [via Imagekind and Flickr]

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