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Original poster
Aug 18, 2016
Welcome to our P52! This project is designed to get you out with your camera once a week in a meaningful way. Each week I will post a prompt for you to consider. The prompts are merely suggestions, and you are free to shoot off topic if you wish. All images posted must be taken by you, be safe for work, and be taken with this project in mind. Please do not post archive photos. For a further discussion of the guidelines, please refer to this thread, and you can find the previous weeks linked there if you missed them. Feel free to join in at any time of the year, and you may go back to missed weeks if you still wish to participate.

Week 35: Diptych


What a fun week this will be! It’s the much debated topic of many POTD threads, the diptych. “But it’s two photos! It’s more than one image! You can’t post two!” Rest assured, the artworld considers a diptych a single piece of art, and I trust the art world on this, not people who have never taken an art history class, or who have a very narrow view of art and interpretation.

Let’s look at a little historical context of the diptych. It’s a very old art form, going back to at least the middle ages. “Diptych” literally translates to “two fold” and they are a precursor to modern notebooks; two artworks were joined together with a hinge to fold them together and protect the art within. A traditional diptych often was one larger, single, piece of work split in two in the middle to fold it together, but you can also use two coordinating images to tell a story larger than a single image.


The vast majority of diptychs are made as side by side images, not a combination of images top to bottom. If you think of the literal meaning, this makes sense; books fold in the middle with a left side and a right side. I have a strong personal preference for side by side diptychs with each image in a vertical orientation, but as always, you may use your own interpretation for this week, and I have seen some stunning top to bottom diptychs over the years.




Here are some things I like to consider when I create my own diptychs. In general I typically use the coordinating images approach. Sometimes I will take a closeup and a wide angle of the same location. In this way you get a context of an overview and a closeup of something within the wider view. You can also find two completely different subjects that have the same shapes or colors within to highlight the similar appearances of vastly different subjects. The main goal is to strengthen a single story by using two different images. You’ll need to identify what story you want to tell with your pairing and then figure out a way to showcase two sides of that.




I am part of a collaborative diptych project on Instagram. We have a group of people who sign up each month, and one person sends an image to the next person, and the second person pairs their own image with one sent by the first person. There are some amazing pairings that happen each month. Because most of the images are not mine, I do not want to paste those images into this thread, but I will link to a couple that have stayed in my mind throughout the project. You can also browse the hashtag on Instagram to see what we have been doing (although Instagram has changed how they use the hashtag so it’s hard to see the entire series we’ve been making for the past couple of years). I recommend checking the link from a phone that has the Instagram app installed so that you can see more than the top nine images.

That said, here are some particularly well done sets I’ve seen in our project.

This week will require a little more thinking from you, if for no other reason than you need to shoot two images this week and then put them together. It is up to you whether you put them side by side butted up against each other or if you prefer to leave a space/line between them. Please note this is a diptych week, so each post should be a pairing of two images; three images is a triptych, and beyond that we start to get into collages, which is beyond the scope of this project.



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Important note:

For this week only, you may dip into archive photos if you wish to use an old photo as a pairing for a new photo. Please try to take at least one new image this week, but if you wish to create a "new artwork" joined of two older images you may do so.
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