A triptych is an image that consists of three different images that usually relate in some way. Why three? Well items grouped in odd numbers are usually more compositionally pleasing and you can use three shots of different things or split one image up onto three separate panels. Generally the image is presented so each shot is given the same space / shape to sit in on the canvas and they are evenly spread out.
Triptychs are a great way to combine multiple viewpoints of the same place into a single shot so you can better tell the story of the scene you captured. It's also a good way to present images of a similar theme you've captured over time. For example, Here's an image by David Clapp who over time has captured several images of old sheds:
The images you use need to link to each other some way but this doesn't necessary mean it has to be of the same subject. They could be linked by colour, for example, or you could have applied the same treatment to them during post production to make them appear similar. Images taken at the same focal length tend to appear more balanced when put together, however this rule isn't set in stone. You could also try linking them by movement, with three shots showing someone / something moving closer to the front of the frame or further away. Another way you could create a Triptych is to use several parts of the same scene in three separate images, capturing a wider-view in the first then focusing on detail in the two that follow. Taking shots of the same scene at different times of the day or even the year can work effectively. For example, you could capture an images of a tree during summer and autumn to show the contrast in colour / weather.
When shooting portraits, these types of shots tend to work better when your person, animal or object is looking into the frame rather than out as having them looking out of the shot will draw the viewer's attention away from the centre of the image. You can change the direction of which your subject is facing during post production if you so wish. You could also have your subject creating three different facial expressions or poses a technique that can work particularly well with children.
The easiest way to create a triptych is with editing software and we have a tutorial on creating triptychs in Photoshop over in our technique section: Create A Triptych For Your Photographs
Image by David Clapp
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