Use Diptychs to Tell a Story

Article from Digital Photography School

If a picture is worth a thousands words, how much is a diptych (pronounced diptik) worth?

Train conductor walking to a Japanese Bullet train in Tokyo Station, Japan

Train conductor walking to a Japanese Bullet train in Tokyo Station, Japan

Photography is about visual communication: sharing stories, ideas, and feelings through images. A diptych of two images, or parts of two images, is an impactful storytelling tool. Look for thematic, compositional, and other visual synergies that will make your diptychs more powerful than the sum of their parts.

Combine wide angle and telephoto shots

By using a zoom lens, or simply cropping a larger photo, you can combine two images that have different effective focal lengths. This can be used to complete the story and prevent the viewer from asking “what’s going on here,” like in this photo of my son collecting acorns in a park. And by the way, what is it with kids and acorns? I remember stuffing acorns into a plastic soda bottle and keeping them in my bedroom as a child…

Small boy picking up acorns

Boy collecting acorns

This diptych from from an engagement shoot in Kyoto, Japan, tells a story by combining a “before” and “after” image.

Cute couple taking a self portrait with a smart phone

Smartphone portrait

Think about your final aspect ratio

There are endless possibilities here. Factors to consider are how the images work together, as well as your final use for the diptych. If your image will be viewed on computer screen, a horizontal orientation will allow viewers to appreciate a large photo without scrolling. If you’re thinking about printing the photo, or showing it on a tablet or smartphone then this isn’t as much of an issue.

Here are a few diptych aspect ratio templates that I like. These are not hard and fast rules, just some ideas to get you started.

Two square images placed next to eachother

Two square images placed next to eachother

Two 2:3 aspect ratio portrait images placed next two eachother

Two 2:3 aspect ratio portrait images placed next to eachother

Two 3:2 aspect ratio images placed one above the other.

Two 3:2 aspect ratio images placed one above the other.

A 5x7 image next to a 5x4 image places the division between the images almost exactly at the golden ratio line of the larger diptych.

A 5×7 image next to a 5×4 image places the division between the images almost exactly at the golden ratio line of the larger diptych.

I hope this article has given you a few new ideas for how to showcase your photos. Feel free to post a link to your diptychs in the comments.

I appreciate feedback, please comment below or feel free to connect with me through Facebook or Google+. I’ll do my best to answer questions and reply to comments.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Use Diptychs to Tell a Story


Tags: Other photography tips | Photography tips and tutorials | Diptych