Write Len Metcalf, "Style is something that others observe about your work that identifies it as yours. When we concentrate on having a clear voice through our work, our style surfaces easily. Artists use particular looks, which I think many mis-label as ‘style’, to bring photographs together. It may be as simple as matching two photographs to work together in a diptych or bringing a whole series together in a book or exhibition.
"Lets’ start our exploration with just two photographs. We put two photographs together, side by side and as viewers, we start comparing and contrasting them. We start looking for similarities and for differences. They start having a conversation with each other, each informing the other, showing us more and more about the other. I personally find this fascinating.
"I was first introduced to this at art school forty years ago by my teacher and mentor George Schwartz. He laid my work out on the floor and showed me how much more deeper the artworks spoke when he placed two images side by side. He pointed out ways to increase the conversation between the two images. He started something that I haven’t been able to stop doing.
"Two artworks side by side is called a diptych in the art world. Three is triptych. Their origins may have started with folding writing tablets in Roman times. The hinge between the two panels meant that when folded, the delicate inner could be protected during transport and they could easily be displayed on a shelf or table. They have a rich history in religious art and are seen in the Buddhist and Christian faiths. We can easily intensify this conversation between two artworks by introducing a consistent (and alternatively, an intentionally inconsistent) look."
How? Len summarises his three part series on Style, Voice and Look, so don't miss this final article in the current issue of Better Photography (Issue 107). Click on the link below to subscribe - plus you get immediate access to over 50 back issues full of super informative material and inspirational ideas! Use coupon code BP40 to get 40% off - just $29.88 for an annual subscription.