Triptych photography offers a unique opportunity to tell compelling stories or showcase visuals dynamically and creatively. Composed of three separate but related images, a triptych can convey a narrative, evoke emotions, or explore a theme visually engagingly. Triptych is a theme in our November competition, and in this blog post, we’ll explore ideas on how to create a stunning digital triptych, offering themes and guidance on using Lightroom and Photoshop to bring your vision to life.

Composition Matters:

  • Start with a Strong Concept: Think about the story or message you want to convey through your triptych.
  • Consistency is key: Ensure a consistent theme, colour palette, or subject across all three panels.
  • Rule of Thirds: Use the rule of thirds to create balance and interest within each panel and triptych.
  • Framing and Spacing: Pay attention to how your images align with each other. Experiment with various arrangements before settling on the final layout.

Ideas for Triptych Themes:

  • Series of Movements with Burst Mode: Utilize your camera’s burst mode to capture a sequence of actions in a single frame. This technique can be used to depict dynamic scenes such as athletes in motion, dancers performing graceful routines, or even a bustling city street. Arrange the individual shots in your triptych to create a sense of progression or a story that unfolds over time.
  • Nature’s Changing Seasons: Capture the beauty of nature’s ever-changing landscape by capturing the same location during different seasons or a plant in the bud when the flower opens and is in full bloom. A triptych featuring spring blossoms, summer greens, and autumn foliage can be a stunning visual representation of time’s passage and the natural world’s cyclical nature.
  • Emotions through Portraits: Experiment with capturing a range of emotions through portrait photography. Take three distinct portraits of the same subject, each conveying a different emotion or mood. This theme allows you to explore the depth of human expression and storytelling through facial expressions and body language.
  • Urban Transformation: Document the evolution of an urban area by photographing the same location over a period of time. Start with an old, dilapidated building and follow its journey through renovation to a modern, revitalized structure. This theme can highlight the contrast between the past and the present.
  • Capturing the Occasion: Use photographs of special events such as weddings or parties to weave a cohesive narrative and express the essence of the occasion.
  • Colour Palette Harmony: Create a visually pleasing triptych by focusing on a specific colour palette. Find subjects or scenes that predominantly feature one colour and capture them in various shades, tones, or saturations. The resulting triptych can be a beautiful exploration of colour and its impact on visual storytelling.
  • Textures and Details: Zoom in on intricate textures and details in everyday objects or natural elements. For example, you can capture the rough bark of a tree, the delicate patterns of a flower, or the weathered surface of an antique item. Highlighting these textures can add depth and interest to your triptych.
  • Split One Image into Three: Creating a triptych doesn’t always require capturing three distinct photographs, as many compelling triptychs are made by dividing a single image into three parts. This approach offers a versatile and creative method to make your image stand out and engage viewers.

Shooting for a Triptych:

  • Plan Your Shots: Visualize how the images will fit together while you’re in the field. Consider the angles, perspectives, and lighting.
  • Overlap for Cohesion: Overlapping elements in adjacent panels can create a seamless transition and enhance the overall impact.

Editing and Post-Processing:

  • DMCC Competition Submission is of ONE Image: For the DMCC competition, you will need to present your triptych as a single image and will most likely need to use photo editing software to arrange three images into a single triptych. We have simple guidelines for Photoshop and Lightroom editing included below. There are also many free software apps available with collage options allowing you to arrange three images into a triptych.

Editing in Lightroom:

  • Consistency is key: Ensure your images have similar tones, colours, and sharpness.
  • Use presets: Develop and apply presets to maintain a consistent look across all three images.
  • Crop with care: Crop your images to match the desired aspect ratio for your elements in adjacent panels, which can create a seamless transition and enhance the overall impact.

Creating the Triptych in Photoshop:

  • Open all three images in Photoshop.
  • Create a new canvas: Go to ‘File’ > ‘New’ and set the dimensions for your triptych. Make it three times the width of a single image.
  • Drag and drop: Drag each image into the canvas, arranging them in the desired order.
  • Blend with masks: Use layer masks to blend the images seamlessly, ensuring a smooth transition between panels.
  • Add finishing touches: Apply final adjustments, such as colour grading or sharpening.

Final Thoughts:

Creating a digital triptych is a delightful blend of creativity and technical skill. Whether capturing the essence of movement, experimenting with themes, delving into the world of emotions, or exploring different image arrangements, triptych photography provides a dynamic platform to expand your photographic repertoire.

With the right composition, shooting techniques, and post-processing finesse, you can transform an image or a series of images into a stunning triptych that captivates your audience and leaves a lasting impression. So, grab your camera, explore new possibilities, and let your creativity flow in threes!!!

Crafting a Captivating Triptych
by Susan Ince, DMCC Member