ImageMagick is a very powerful software suite for manipulating images. Most of the functionalities of ImageMagick are typically utilized from the command line or APIs in various programing languages. The lack of user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) perhaps limits its popularity among photographers. However it is highly recommended for anyone who needs to deal with large number of photos in batch mode. I will show you how easy it is to use ImageMagick to create photo montages (not photo mosaic).

In the first example, I want to create a photo montage with 16 photos in a 4×4 array with 12 pixel spacing around each image. The command I type in Windows Vista Command Shell (cmd.exe) is:

montage -geometry +12+12 -tile 4x4 2008*.jpg montage.jpg

I have previously exported all of the photos in the current directory and “2008*.jpg” will include all images with file names starting with 2008 and ending with “.jpg”. “montage.jpg” is the final output image as shown below.


It can certainly get more fancier than this. For example, the following command

montage 2008*.jpg -thumbnail 300x300 -set caption %t -bordercolor #E6E6FA  -background grey40 -pointsize 9 -density 144x144 +polaroid -resize 50%  -background white -geometry +1+1 -tile 4x4 -title "Las Vegas Travel 2008" polaroid_t.jpg

produces an array of photos each with a Polaroid-style border. The file name is printed under each photo and a large title “Las Vegas Travel 2008” is added on top.  The entire process takes just a few seconds to complete after you have the individual photos ready. Want to do the same in Adobe Photoshop? 😉


I will not go into the details about the command above. If you are interested, please visit this page for more information.

Posted in: Tips and Techniques, Tutorials on December 29th, 2008. Trackback URI
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