Diptych Photography – Telling Stories

Two images connected into one, a storyline, a captivating piece of art. Diptych photography has this strong connection to viewers. If you are new to this, worry not. It’s a great avenue for you to play with your creativity. This makes conceptual photography such a playground for the imagination. Remember that you are not bound to just one theme or idea – you can weave two even very different snaps and come up with a wonderful diptych photograph.

The range of ideas you can try out is limitless – from dark to upbeat, from dreamy to gory, from nature to decay. Whenever you can connect two images in harmony and balance, you can do awesome!

If you are still clueless of how interesting it is, here are some points you may want to consider.

Start with photos in folders

Do you store photos and sort them out in folders? Cool. You can start by going through them per folder. As you take a look, enjoy the throwback. Now, back at your images, look closer and find pieces that you really like. You can create a new folder for your favorites. Do this in all of your stored folders. One great step you can take is to mix and match images based on the following:

  • Similarity (mood, color, message)
  • Time frame
  • Difference
  • Irony
  • Paradox
  • A spotted similar object/subject

Try making a collage out of two images from the same folder then from two different folders later. You can use online collage-making programs and other free photo processing software like Picasa. Of course, there is Photoshop if you know how to use it.


diptych photography
Photo by Josephine Sicad-Minerva
diptych photography
Photo by Aileen Siroy

Let the natural story flow

Do you agree that the best stories are non-fictional? Those little moments unfolding purely – from how a tree turns golden in autumn and how the leaves fall like a marvellous natural timeline. Your mind and your captures can take you to a deep journey through the imagination. As you arrange two images before you, you can discover stories that are tucked in between. You can start simple – from how a cupcake stands still above books and how the colors speak so much about a special event. You can go for profound ideas like how buoyancy (waves under a boat) can mean like love.

The key is to let the message speak without having to force it. The amazing outcome would be – viewers making their own stories while watching your diptych photos.

diptych photography
Photo by Kristine Buenavista

Like talking to a friend

Like any kind of expression in artistic form, never lean on “pressure”. The best diptych photographs are made from the idea of talking to a friend. When you are having a conversation with someone you are comfortable with, you let that person in to your deepest thoughts, innermost feelings… to that little corner of your mind. You do this without worrying how he/she reacts to it. When you put your heart and creativity in your ideas without fear, the beauty exudes.

Stay inspired always 

Make sure to keep a dose of inspiration. You can go around online and take a look at conceptual photography and diptychs. As you do this, never compare your craft to other artists’. Remind yourself to keep freshness and uniqueness in your ideas. Go around Flickr and Deviant Art as well as various websites and blogs – when you keep constant inspiration from others, you are also fuelled to bring out the best in your talent. To add, your ideas become more deepened the more you explore.

Let there be no box

To think outside the box means you are trying to fight something mainstream. With conceptual photography, there is no box. You have the freedom to create your own style, your own story. With your diptychs, never feel stopped from relaying visions and feelings what you think and feel about. Great art does not come from copying or revising, yes?

As a unique individual, you have your own stories, you see things differently and let your captures express that. You’ll never know where it leads.

diptych photography
Photo by Kristine Buenavista

Move audience as they look into

As others look at your snaps, they think, ponder and connect. With two images knitted into one, you as the artist give them an experience of creating their own perception, their own way of looking into the story, the message, the feeling…the lesson. You are not just allowing them to appreciate beauty but go a bit deeper. Sometimes, it can even make a difference in a life, magically.

With all these tips and boosters, you can surely start coming up with conceptual photography that is distinctly yours. In no time, you’ll find out more why diptychs are special. Enjoy playing with your imagination!

About Kristine Buenavista

Tin oftentimes takes her folding bike and old camera along country roads. Sometimes, she forgets to take pictures (though she never forgets when she finds great photos elsewhere). She narrates through words and images here. Travel, creativity, laughter, cerveza negra, scavenge hunt for beauty, starry-windy nights are among the things that make her feel weightless.

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