THE TRIPTYCH HAS ITS roots in Medieval art, where it was common to see scenes from the Bible presented as three connected paintings. The style was popular among artists who were trying to tell a story in a still picture, as it’s possible to spread the narrative across the three frames – just as in a modern comic book – that are clearly part of a common theme.
The triptych’s ability to turn the still image into a mini movie made it very appealing to early photographers, working in the days before film and cameras were able to capture moving images, and it remains a well-used motif among stills photographers looking to create a more narrative composition. While the triptych, by its nature, is always composed of three images, there are different ways of arriving at the result.
Crop… or not
One method is to take three separate, but connected photographs, and then lay them out in the triptych style in editing. The other process involves taking one shot and then cropping parts of the image into individual photos that are then combined in the triptych. This is the method we tried out for our triptych selfie, above.
Remember, there needs to be a theme running through the triptych, and the centre panel is often used to tie all of the images together and anchor the narrative of the whole thing.
Above With a camera on a tripod, and using the self-timer, we took this simple selfie as the basis for our triptych edit.