If a picture is worth a thousands words, how much is a diptych (pronounced diptik) worth?
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…
This diptych from from an engagement shoot in Kyoto, Japan, tells a story by combining a “before” and “after” image.
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.
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.