The Triptych Challenge
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The Brisbane Camera Group March competition topic was “Triptych” with the following definition to guide us with the creation of our images.

A triptych (pronounced Trip’tik), when applied to photography, is a group of three pictures. It could be three photographs mounted in a frame or mat, or a composite of three pictures in the one image. It is not to be one image split into three.

The subject of a triptych is an important defining characteristic. The pictures should have a common theme. This could be a story, similar compositional elements, colours, similar subject matter – anything that draws the pictures together as a group.

Our judge for this competition was Leanne Butterley. She had some strong ideas and approached the subject in a tough but fair manner. Her key focus was on story – what is the story these 3 images are telling? Does it work?

None of the images I submitted were awarded a merit or honour. Within the first few prints that she had judged, I knew that would be my result. None of my images had a story – they each had a theme but they were not necessarily drawn together as a group.

These are the images I submitted:

In TrainingIn Training – These images were taken at Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Queensland.

Sand ArtSand Art – These images were taken on the Sunshine Coast beaches, Queensland.

Sea Gulls

Sea Gulls – These images were taken near Glenelg, South Australia.


Surfers – These images were taken at Currumbin, Gold Coast, Queensland.

Keys learnings and reminders for me from the judge’s comments are:

  • While my images are technically good, I need to move into telling the story or creating a vision with my images. I need to develop my own voice and present my vision.
  • Preparation is really important. While I did some research for the topic, it was more around how the images are presented. I need to research deeper and look for famous photographers and see what images they produced. What images are considered famous and why.
  • Shoot with intent. Don’t just shoot what falls into my lap but plan based on my research and aim to get the shot that will clearly depict my vision or the story I want to tell. Images don’t need to be literal – often the better images are more symbolic.
  • No matter how good you think your image is, always ask yourself “how could this image be improved?” Be prepared to experiment and try different things to improve the image.

While I am disappointed to not have received any merits or honours, I know that I have learned much from the comments made by the judge. The challenge now is to put this into practice and continue to improve my photography.

The April topic is lines and the competition definition is “images where lines are the significant compositional element.  The lines should be the subject, or create the subject in an aesthetic manner.” I am now onward to this new challenge!

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