iPhone iDea-Diptych and Triptych

Dark and light, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

One of the issues you might have to confront when trying to print or show your iPhone work is how to present it. After I announced that I was doing an upcoming iPhone invitational show, a lot of photographers contacted me and asked the same question, “…but, how are you going to print them?”

There are a few challenges here. For starters, some of you might have the older iPhone cameras, the ones that were not the higher megapixel variety, and so printing large is out of the question. Also, a lot of galleries have a strict “no Photoshop” rule, since the iPhone stuff is supposed to be lo-fi, so fixing things with Photoshop might be off the table as well. Horror of horrors, what to do?

Diptych and triptych to the rescue!

What do I mean by that? Well, there are easy ways to create diptychs and triptychs with iPhone photos. For starters, the iPhone can be used to create small, square images. These can easily be included in diptychs and triptychs, either in Photoshop or in another program. Also, you don’t even need software to do this at all. Allow me to explain.

For my upcoming iPhone show, I’m printing my images and mounting them on 6×6 inch boards. You can then buy brackets (hardware brackets) at a place like Home Depot (or a local hardware store) and hinge the smaller boards together, creating one larger piece. You can also make polyptchs (anything more than 3) and use this as a technique to build up larger scale work.

With the iPhone4, I’m able to print up to 10 inch by 10 inch pretty easily. By starting from a 10×10 inch board, I could easily build up a wall of iPhone images, arranging them in a nice grid shape, creating a large square work. This can also make for easy shipping, since it can be torn apart and shipped, provided you include instructions on how to piece it back together again.

So, there you have it. The iPhone solves another problem and provides yet another creative outlet. Diptychs, triptychs, and polyptychs also provide an added form of artistic expression, as you get to decide which images go with which other images. When presenting work like this, it’s much about the editing as it is about the work itself, and that really allows the strength of the iPhone imagery to shine through. I’d love to see a large scale installation presented like this-just a thousand small iPhone images all presented together into a massive installation. Imagine too a modern day Marilyn Monroe style image, repeated over and over again, to fill a large space. How cool would that be?

Even on a smaller scale this can work well too. The power of the diptych and triptych, the simple means of hinging smaller work together to make something larger, something more impressive, is not lost on the iPhone camera.

Hey, if it was good enough for Andy Warhol, it should be good enough for you too, right?

Until next time…


  1. Victoria
    December 1, 2010 / 6:19 pm

    I first had a peek at this late last night (my birthday) and wanted to congratulate you on the National Blog Post Month achievement… every time I vow to post daily, something gets in the way (who knows what?!) and even though my posts aren't nearly as lengthy as yours, somehow daily doesn't happen!

    Great ideas for diptychs and triptychs (and other "multiple" images arranged together)! (much less expensive, I suspect, than matting and framing 3 images in a conventional frame as I did this past winter for a photo show)

  2. Carol
    December 6, 2010 / 4:21 am

    Thanks, Victoria! It's a challenge every year but I try to do it because I have a donation to a worthy cause riding on it.

    Yes, the diptych and triptych idea is fun, isn't it? I want to play around more like this and create all sorts of fun sizes now.

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