Monday, April 22, 2013

Diptych Fun

by Dotti

Spoiler Alert: This post contains a lot of flower pictures.

I have always loved diptychs, triptychs and storyboards. Used effectively, they can be a lot of fun for photographer and viewer alike. However I usually thought about them after the shot rather than before. Then a couple of weeks ago, I came across a post on Mortal Muses with some ideas that sounded fun. Although this particular post was focused on mobile photography, I think it’s a great resource for conventional photography.

The writer suggested using portrait orientation for diptychs for a more pleasing composition than say two landscape orientation photos.Since I am a person who instinctively shoots in landscape and I have to remind myself often to rotate my camera, this sounded like a great way to get me out of my comfort zone.

Would this idea help me see things differently than I do at first glance, to contemplate more before I press the shutter? The idea of shooting with the objective of making a diptych also challenged what I looked for and how I looked at it. And … it proved to be quite a lot of fun.

With my garden finally beginning to bloom, I didn’t have to travel very far to get some photo ops. These are photos I might normally have taken in landscape mode but consciously looking for portrait orientation allowed me to see my garden through different eyes. Every spring I’ve tried to capture the beautiful scene created by our red tulips beneath the river birch tree … in landscape, of course. And, I’ve never been happy. Rotating my camera made a huge difference. I was able to capture the interesting bark of the tree while still showcasing the lovely red tulips. 

While I’d always admired photographers who showed opposing points of view such as I did in this photo with the blue bottle, it was something I didn’t practice myself. Now I wonder: why? I think I needed someone to suggest the idea to me so that I could own it myself.

Then, just this past Friday, I got an email from Texas Chicks (which I learned about from our own Linda Owens) with yet more good information and ideas about … storytelling with diptychs and triptychs. Isn’t it funny how that happens? Two weeks ago this subject was not anywhere on my radar. All of a sudden, it’s all around me. Perhaps somebody is trying to tell me something …

Anyhow, if you need a fresh perspective for your photos, you might want to try this idea. My own experience has been a sense of renewed energy and excitement about enjoying time with my camera after the long winter. And you can use this technique for much more than flowers. There are portraits …

and memories of ordinary times of your life …

and so many more moments that can be captured this way, all the while giving more depth and meaning to your storytelling and memory making. I think it’s exciting. How about you?


Linda said...

I will always love flower pictures! Yours are ao lovely! You put the diptychs together so nicely!
I know I go too fast when I'm taking pictures. snap snap snap! This is a good way to slow that down a little. Thanks for the tip!
I'm glad you are enjoying Texas Chicks!
I'm jealous you can grow tulips! Sadly I must rely on the local grocer for mine! And they haven't been doing a very good job this year!

terriporter said...

I love diptychs too and forget to do them. Thanks so much for the links -- I missed the MM article and it's a great one, especially for iPhoneography. And the Texas Chicks article is a great one! Can't wait to give some of these ideas a try and I hope everybody will do the same and post them to the Flickr group. It would be fun to see everyone's take on this! Great examples in your post and beautiful photos to inspire us!

kelly said... had me at flower pictures. :) i am a relative newby to the diptych, but decided to stick my toe in the water after reading the MM article. and like you said, i too have foudn that it is a little different thinking about it BEFORE the shot. but a fun new thing to play with and a fun new way to see spring. thanks for sharing yours! :)

heyjudephotography said...

First of all, I always smile when I see the word diptych - I don't know, just one of those silly words! Your photos are beautiful and they are great diptychs too. I don't often do this, but what a fun project for my to do list.

AFishGirl said...

Totally exciting! And love seeing your shots, Dotti. These are wonderful, wonderful.

Jeanne said...

Really loved your post, and honestly have to say that it is something that I have never even heard of... but what great potential and fun! Thanks so much for sharing this!

stephmull said...

love all your flower pictures! the yellow ones in the blue vase with the two different perspectives are my favorites! I, too, love a good diptych and you have some beauties!!

Kim Stevens said...

I haven't used them in a while, but I do use them to tell stories especially when I've been on an adventure...I can share more photos that way! lol

I'll be using them when I get to my monarch posts too!

Kim Stevens said...

Oh yes, loved the flower photos too!

CarolHart said...

These are great diptychs Dottie! I too generally shoot landscape. I'm going to make a conscious effort this week to shoot portrait. Thanks for the inspiration!

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