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How To Find a Partner

Sometimes it’s just not possible to capture everything you want in a single shot. The solution is simple – shoot two photos and display them side-by-side. Alfonso Calero explains.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with the idea of mixing and matching my photos. I find that displaying two images side-by-side is a great way to tell a story photographically, and to create ideas that are not necessarily evident when one or the other image is displayed by itself. If you're interested in trying this technique with your own images, here are some of the tricks I’ve picked up along the way.

 Back Alleys of Santiago De Compostela

Back Alleys of Santiago De Compostela

01 TRAVEL SHOTS

When you’re travelling it can be difficult to capture the true sense of a place with just one photo. Often, a travel experience is about the people, the food, the architecture, and the quirky things you just don’t see at home. And while you may be able to capture some of those things in a single shot, they're often easier to convey in a series of images. For that reason, combining images can be a very useful technique in travel photography. Using two different genres such as a portrait and a still life can help you tell a bigger story with your images.

 Gypsy beggar & Gypsy Entertainer in Sevilla

Gypsy beggar & Gypsy Entertainer in Sevilla

02 PORTRAIT AND OBJECT

You can add more interest to a portrait by including an object that belongs to the sitter. In this case, combining a photo of a chef with one of his signature dishes allowed me to tell a more compelling story than if I had displayed either image on its own.

 Hamon Cerano & Rhum Coke in Madrid

Hamon Cerano & Rhum Coke in Madrid

03 WIDE AND CLOSE-UP

A great way to show a sense of place is to match a wide-angle photo with a detail shot. In the image below, the building gives us an overview, while the lantern fills in some of the architectural details.

 Santiago De Compostela Cathedral

Santiago De Compostela Cathedral

04 SAME SCENE DIFFERENT SHOT

A repetition of a similar photo can add interest to a series of photos. I like to call it the “Spot the Difference” approach. When people see two similar images they can’t help looking for differences, and that’s usually enough to spark some interest in your photo.

 Guitar Maker in Granada

Guitar Maker in Granada

05 LEADING LINES

You can use leading lines to visually connect one photo to another. In the photo below, the leading lines converge nicely in the centre to move our eyes left and right between the photos. Repetition of colours, lines, textures, shapes and angles of view can be used to create a close relationship or a juxtaposition between photos.

 Puebla De Sanabria & Segovia Aquaducts in Spain

Puebla De Sanabria & Segovia Aquaducts in Spain