Coastal walk – Photographic diptychs

Date: 9th April 2021
Location: Isle of Wight
Category: Foto Fridays

Hello dear readers. Its Friday and time for another Foto Fridays piece. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I love to be inspired by other people’s creativity, trying it out and making it my own. This is what I want to talk about today in connection with diptychs.

Artist and author, Brighton-based Philippa Stanton is a master of diptychs. She often posts them on her Instagram stories after a walk and they are captivating because of the way she combines what she sees and hears in the world, sometimes using stills and video together.

What is a diptych?

The Digital Photo magazine says “The diptych – two images combined into a single frame or presented together – originated in art as a drawing or painting in two parts…. In photography, the diptych has become a popular format where pairs of portraits, images or themed pictures are used together to complement one another. For the photographic diptych format to work, there should be some commonality between the pictures in the image. They should share some aesthetic, subject, color, theme or form.”

When we are looking to combine 2 photos, we need to look for “thematic, compositional and other visual synergies” that will pull the 2 photographs together.

My take on these

I’ve done both diptychs and triptychs before when I did my 365 projects way back in 2014 and 2015, but they were mostly in a landscape format. Looking at Philippa’s posts in screen-sized portrait format has inspired me to try these a few times. I did some just recently when I went to a walk along the Prince’s Esplanade in Cowes (on the Isle of Wight).

When I make these, I work intuitively i.e. I don’t have a plan before I start.

One of the reasons I enjoy doing these is this: I always take loads of images on my walks and I’ll maybe post one or two on Instagram or use a couple here on the blog. But by making diptychs and triptychs, I’m using more of the images I’ve taken and looking at them in a really aesthetic way. Which takes the whole process to another level!

I’ve put them into sets of three and explained how I think the images work together in terms of aesthetic, subject, line, shape, colour, theme or form. I’ve written about these aspects of my photography before – have a look at the list at the end of this post.

Linked by: Line, colour and shape

Linked by: Line

This is actually a triptych, but the same principles apply!

Linked by: Line and colour


Linked by: Texture and similar colours – inverted between the 2 photos

Linked by: Similar pattern, texture and colour

Linked by: Line, colour and opposing orientations (vertical & horizontal)

Linked by: Curves, colour, contrast in size and organic vs manmade

Linked by: Angular shapes and colour

Linked by: Same object, different perspective


I’d love to know what you think of these, if you’ve ever tried anything like this or if you also follow Philippa.

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