Triptych Storm Clouds comprises of three panels intended to be displayed together. Triptych comes from a Greek adjective meaning “threefold”.
Each panel contains what I call a discreet moment of compositional movement. I don’t necessarily mean in a physical movement but an emotional movement. What is intriguing, for me, is that a single composition can contain such elements.
Of course, when I made this exposure of dissipating storm clouds at sunset, I gave no thought about any image panels. I was simply looking at the sky, marveling in the cloud’s rapidly changing shapes and deepening colours.
Do these discrete compositional dissections reside deep in our subconscious? I have previously stumbled into making a triptych when photographing the Canning River. In a totally unpremeditated manner, I have exposed three consecutive 35mm film frames that sat neatly together as a single image on my contact sheet.
In this case with the clouds, on hand was my Canon 5D II digital camera. Using a tripod, I managed three exposures over a relatively short period before the clouds changed completely and the light dissipated. Of the three exposures, only one had the best composition.
The best composition is, of course, a highly subjective measure. For me, it has to be the composition that best captures the emotion I felt that inspired me to make the images in the first place.
To my surprise, when I divided this single exposure, using photoshop, into three discreet panels the power of the overall composition increased. There is something about the psychology of rectangles and how we respond to them as image frames.