Chair Triptych


Frequent visitors to this blog might remember this chair which previously was shown with digital photographs here. This in-camera triptych is taken with the half-frame Pen on film. I am not sure if the change in chair orientation is enough transformation to make the photograph really work. For some reason, my son, while willing to rotate the chair for me, refused to sit in it. The white sweater probably had quite a bit to do with that. But it might have worked better with him sitting in one of the shots.

Again, I am not convinced that colour, or black and white, works best. So you get to see them both. I lean towards the colour – the rust of the chair goes well with some of the rocks and grasses and the reds in the alder branches too.




This is another in my half-frame film series, and of the multitychs which are defined as two or more photographs shot on adjacent half-frames with the intent to scan them as a single image.

Olympus Pen, Half Frame, 28mm lens, Fujicolor Superia 200, ISO200, 1/50th, ~f5.6, NDX4 filter


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30 thoughts on “Chair Triptych

    • Hi Ashley – thanks for commenting so long past. Just getting to them now! The chair is returning nature, and the first order of business is to blend in visually. I imagine this chair, in its prime, with thickly stuffed patterned pink upholstery. While that might make an interesting shot too, this blending with the landscape IS more subtle. Maybe weeds and alders will grow up around it, and it will become one with the earth. I have spent quite a lot of time not far up the coast in Barkley Sound. One of the archaeological sites I recorded up there is a late 1800s First Nations cemetery. At that time they piled the possessions of the dead person on their graves. It is very strange to come across, in dense thickets of shrubs, a brass bed frame, or sewing machine, looking as if they had formed there on their own.

    • Hi Mark – thank you for your comment of so long ago. I have been having a bit of a sabbatical, largely unintended, from commenting, but am trying to catch up now.

  1. It’s really interesting that you can do this in-camera – is that specific to the camera you’re using? Or would any film SLR be capable of this?.(Sorry, I’m sure you’ve explained this process in past posts but I’m WAY behind on my blog reading.) I’ve been experimenting with some diptychs and triptychs lately, but doing it in Lightroom as potential print layouts. I like some of the results I’ve had, but am not sure whether to take them any further (e.g. to actually spend the money to have them printed).

    • Hi Laurie
      You could do this on any SLR if you wanted to, but with different aspect ratios, or some serious manipulation of double exposures. My camera is a half-frame camera, that is it uses only half of the normal 35mm frame area for a single shot (72 exposures on a roll of 36). That gives a different size of image which allows for triptychs that are not terribly wide. I think you could shoot diptychs quite successfully with a full frame SLR. I get the film processed uncut without prints, then I scan the negatives as single images. I think I have got up to 5 frames into one image (click on the half-frame camera tag to see the whole collection). It depends on what I want to do.
      I have also been shooting images where the two shots are the same view, but with the camera rotated 180 degrees, and other similar manipulations. It can get pretty tricky to frame things when doing that type of thing as the upside down image can be very displaced along the join. I have also been experimenting with ways to have the join blend into the adjacent images and not be so noticeable. There is quite a lot to learn but it sure has been fun for the past couple of months with my 50 year old Olympus Pen.

      • Sounds very interesting ehpem – thanks for the explanation. Might have to try it one of these days. Sorry for slow reply – our power’s been down the past few days. I expect you have had a lot of snow there too and perhaps an outage. The power’s back on now, thankfully!

      • Hi Laurie- I could not reply either for a while – I was on Quadra Island without power due to the snow. At my house, I am reliably told, that there was almost no snow and what there was did not stick. The Harling Point area of Victoria has the most moderate weather in Victoria (and probably Vancouver Island) – warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. I think it is the close proximity to ocean on three sides (it is 1 block or less to three different beaches from our house), I grew up in North Saanich which is only 20km or so north of here, and there is much more snow there – probably more like the southern gulf islands.

      • It’s interesting how much difference proximity to the water and small changes in altitude can make. We had over a foot of snow at our place, which is at about 100 feet above sea level. Just 2 km down the road, at Silva Bay, there was very little snow – in fact when we went to check on our boat (after we finally managed to get our 300-ft long driveway clear enough to get our car out), there was NO snow left on the boat at all, and very little on the docks.

      • I am fascinated by the local variations. Years ago someone gave me a book on the local variations in Victoria’s weather (which I wish I could find) – our area was classified as totally unsuitable for growing grapes (to we would would add tomatoes) while places not too far from here are excellent for both.
        I was told by a long time Quadra resident that there is a great deal of difference on Quadra from north to south as the north end is much more subject to outflow winds from Bute Inlet and gets a lot more snow than the rest of the island.

      • Similarly, Gabriola has an “equator right across the centre of the island – the weather on one side is often completely different from that on the other side. The Village end is impacted by Nanaimo weather, the south end (where I live) by Vancouver weather and by outlow winds from Howe Sound (which don’t affect the north end so much). I’ve seen snow at one end with none at the other end a number of times; ditto for thick fog. Bob Bossin used to joke about the “sunny southerners” and the “hardy northern tribes” of Gabriola.

      • Bob Bossin has a lot of good ideas, and songs. I found his book on the history of Clayoquot Sound that he did with the BC Archives a few decades ago very useful when I was working on Meares Island, also a few decades ago.

  2. When I first saw this, I liked the color one better (I know!) because I liked the way the reddish color on the chair worked with the yellows in the rocks in the foreground and the grasses behind the chair. But when I looked again, I decided that I liked the b&w version better because the chair seemed less a part of the other elements. Which seems right for this poor chair.

    • I guess I should have entered in that photo challenge, if I known it existed. I scheduled a week of posts in advance since I am out of town, so maybe they were looking through the scheduled posts for a theme? The least they could have done would be to add a few tags so I lined up with the challenge….

      • I am sure they (whoever “they” even are!) did get the idea from your blog, and I think you should let them know that they’ve (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgotten to credit your work.

  3. Here is another instance where the black and white works better for me even though the chair itself has some nice color in it. But in the color version it seems the chair is competing with the background.

    • Hi Ken, for me it is an instance where it is hard to let go of the colour. I really like the rusty colours and how they go with the environment, as if the chair is blending in. So, competing, but not for long. Even so, I see what you mean, and I like the black and white versions as much as the colour.

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