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Making Triptychs in Photoshop

It's time to take a set of three photos and make them into a visual story.

Step 1: Find your three photos.

Triptychs work best if your three photos that either work together as a theme, tell a story or show a poignant juxtaposition. The key idea is that your three photos should say more together than they do on their own.

For this run through I'm going to use these three snap shots.


Step 2: Create a new document in Photoshop

Make a new file [Click on the File menu and click New...] to the size you want the final triptych to be. For this example I'm going to make it 12 x 18 inch landscape file with a DPI of 300. This is a standard photo print size and 300 DPI is a fairly standard printing resolution. 

new document.jpg

Step 3: Make some guides.

Guides in Photoshop are great for lining up layers and in more recent versions of Photoshop CC you can make quick Guide Layouts. Go to the View menu and click on Make new guide layout... to start.

new guides.jpg

In the new window make 3 columns with a 10 mm gutter (the gutter is the space between the columns) and make a margin of 10 mm on all 4 edges.

Your document should look like this now.

Your document should look like this now.

Step 4: Drag your photos into the document.

Open an explorer window containing your three photos. Select the photos and drag them into your triptych document.


Once you have dropped the photo into the document resize them by clicking and dragging the corners to fit inside the 3 rectangles. Holding down the Shift key will stop the photos from getting squashed or stretched.


Once your image is in place hit the Enter key to commit to the placement. If you want to move one of the images later use the Move tool with the correct layer selected and press CTRL + T to resize.

Step 5: Layer Masks

Now with all your images in place use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select the rectangle for the first image. Make sure you have snapping turned on so your selection automatically snap to the guide lines.

With the first's images layer selected click on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the layer's panel.

download (2).jpg

Repeat for all three photos.

download (3).jpg

And now you are done!

download (4).jpg

Save your file and print!

Damian WallsComment