Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.


Triptych - noun: Fine Arts. A set of three panels or compartments side by side, bearing pictures, carvings, or the like.

I am a fan of the triptych presentation. There seems to be something that just feels "right" with the presentation of three pieces of art that have some degree of association with each other. Three images seem to be just enough to bring out a relationship without overstating a point or overwhelming the observer. Even within single images, the presentation of three objects is most often felt to be more soothing and complementary than two.

I have at least two walls of perfect size in my home to allow the display of a triptych, and it is always fun to try and put together a grouping for these locations (I sometimes rotate them) that work well together. I currently have one grouping of abstract images that I made during an Antelope Canyon workshop and another grouping of waterfall images on display.

I recently posted an image of a tree that I had gone back to photograph after having driven by it on the road. I found that the more I looked at the image, the more I liked it. I liked the serene feel of the foggy day, I liked the pastoral setting and I liked the graphic shape the tree made. As I was 'playing' with it, I started to get the idea that it would make a nice triptych. However, the grouping that I had in mind was different than anything I had done before. My idea was to present the exact same image processed in three different ways. I converted that original image, seen here, to black and white and then toned it with three different tints, all of which I thought worked well individually, as well as grouped together. This type of grouping is a new approach for me, though clearly it has been done before by others.

Here is what I came up with (though, obviously, in the triptych they will be presented horizontally instead of vertically):

"Reaching Out"
Copyright Howard Grill

I think they work together reasonably well together.