Thursday, October 7, 2010

Inspiration for Diptychs

Hoya Rowing-1
I recently finished a big renovation on my home that includes the familiar tale of a project scheduled for three months and finished in nine.  But that is not the story for today.  Having completed the project, the architect brought in a architectural photographer to document the final product.  Assisting Anice (the architectural photographer) with the shoot was Allen David Russ.  I had a wonderful time distracting both Anice and Allen from their work by chit chatting about photography.
Memorial Bridge to Washington Monument
In conversation with Allen I learned that he is now showing a project at the Carroll Square Gallery (975 F Street, Washington DC) called City of Trees.  In addition to the information at the Carroll Square Gallery site, you can see a preview of Allen’s exhibit at his website.  Having checked out the web preview, I intend on visiting the Carroll Square Gallery, and recommend the same to you.  The exhibit features the trees of Washington DC.  Quite honestly, when Allen told me his project focused on the trees of DC, my unsaid response was along the sarcastic lines of “oh, that’s nice.”  I could not have been more misguided.  The photographs are beautiful and inspiring.
Hoya Rowing
Now that I have set the backdrop, I can get to the heart of this post. If you visit Allen’s website (or the gallery) you will find that many of the photographs are presented as diptychs or triptychs. This inspired me.  I have previously written about diptychs (Diptychs in Photography), but Allen’s approach is completely different than my discussion.  Allen’s diptychs are separate panels that flow through a continuous scene.  One of the benefits of this approach is the ability to present remarkable detail in each panel that would be increasingly lost by simply shooting further away or using a wider lens.  Due to their rich texture, the use of this technique is particularly appropriate for the trees featured in Allen’s work.
Canal in Geogetown
The diptychs and triptychs also add another dimension of visual interest by telling a two or three part story.  The eye naturally wants to explore each panel individually, move on to the next, and consider the composition as a whole.  This story telling aspect is at the heart of what inspired me.  My list of photographic things to do, now includes an exploration of diptychs and triptychs to expand the story of some of my favorite subjects.  Thanks for the inspiration Allen.  I would also like to thank Anice and Allen for their patience as I peered over their shoulders and took advantage of the opportunity to talk about photography.
Hoya Rowing-2
The photographs featured in this post were selected to compliment the theme of Allen’s work.  While not diptychs, they maintain the Washington DC theme with a specific focus on the water.
Have fun, and go make some great photography.

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