Designing diptychs is such a fun and creative way to combine images in order to tell a more complete story. The images together can tell an actual story. For example, your kiddo playing with a toy shot from different perspectives, or a flower from closed to open bloom. You can tell a story of textures, colors, lights, shadows, etc. There are no rules to diptychs, which is part of what makes them so much fun.
There are a few different ways that I approach diptychs. Sometimes I set out to tell a story by taking both a wide angle shot and a macro or detail shot of the same moment. I will do this often when at least one of my images contains a human subject. I love the way that the two different perspectives draw the viewer into your images. It allows them to experience the moment more thoroughly. It also allows them to see the two perspectives together, as opposed to having to swipe through a carousel on Instagram.
Some fun ways to shoot the same moment with different perspectives are:
The combinations are endless!
Sometimes I will plan on taking images that are of completely different subjects. But together they contain a unifying element such as color, texture, lighting, etc. This personally is my favorite type of diptych to shoot. It really requires me to pay attention to my surroundings and allows me to notice so many little details that I might otherwise miss. When I am going to shoot this type of diptych, I usually head out on a photo walk and let my surroundings speak to me.
In the following images, I noticed the prints that the wet leaves were leaving on the cement. I started by shooting these leaf prints. Then, I looked around for items that I thought would compliment the leaf prints. Additionally, I will sometimes go on photo walks and know that I am only going to look for the color blue or harsh light or reflections. Next, I will walk and photograph only things that fit my parameters. I like the challenge of having to follow a rule while shooting. It pushes me as an artist. It also leads to some really cool diptychs.
Finally, sometimes diptychs are a way to give old images new life. Look through your backlog of images (that all photographers have) and find two different images that you think will go together well. You can combine images of your child when they were younger and older. Or you can use images taken in the same spot but at different times of the year. You can even use two totally different images that might only be connected aesthetically. It really is up to you!
Designing Diptychs: The Practical Side
How do I combine two images to make a diptych. I personally open my photos in Lightroom CC and choose “edit in photoshop”. Then, I use the crop tool to create additional white space around an image and then I add the other image into that space. Finally, I save the image and close it and it returns to Lightroom CC as a diptych.
In Lightroom Classic you are able to make a diptych in the print module by putting the two images into a collection, then going to your print module and selecting the images. Next, in the module’s layout style, choose “single image/contact sheet” then set page gride to 1 row and 2 columns. Finally, in the print job settings, choose print to jpeg file and choose “print to file” button and save your image.
There also apps that will create diptychs for you on your phone, most collage style apps allow you to create a diptych.
Diptychs are a creative, fun and easy way to tell a complete story to your viewer by unifying two images into one cohesive piece. The images can be actually connected in that they were shot at the same time in the same place and are of the same subject, or they can be completely different images shot hours, days or even years apart. Diptychs are a chance for your inner artist to come out and play and to create some magic!