Creating A Double Exposure Print With Pixlr

Double exposure has been a cool photography trick since the days of shooting on film. Just because we’ve switched mediums to digital doesn’t mean you can’t still do this cool trick. Plus, with the advanced tools that digital photo editing programs provide, you can create cool double exposure art with even more control than before.

Creating a double exposure picture using Pixlr is downright simple. We are also providing just a few advanced tips to really make your double exposure images stand out.

  • Find a photo with a well-defined silhouette. Overlapping two photos with similar exposures usually just makes a visual mess. You can either take a photo and make sure that it has a well-defined silhouette, download one from the internet, or even edit in a darker silhouette using your paint tool, but we recommend against that unless you’re just shy of desperate.

  • Add a second image. Open your second image in Pixlr, then choose Select > All and copy. You can now paste this image over the original, silhouette image in that window. This should automatically create a second layer for the pasted image. For your secondary image, we recommend an image with a well-defined pattern or look, since it will need to be clearly evident from inside the silhouette.

  • Adjust the layer properties of the second image. Since the second image is technically being laid over the silhouette image, the first thing you should do is adjust the opacity so that the silhouette can be seen clearly. Since each image is different, there is no one perfect way to adjust the images, so we suggest trying the Screen and Lighten modes to get your photo to show up the right way within the silhouette.

  • Fine tune your image. Adjusting things like the color amount by clicking Adjustment > Hue & Saturation or the contrast Adjustment > Brightness & Contrast is a good place to start. You can change individual color levels, or try sharpening or blurring the image. Again, this technique will range greatly from picture to picture, and these are just suggestions on where to start.

  • Flatten! Once you’re content with how the layers look together, you can flatten the image by going to Layer > Flatten Image, which will create your final version, combining the layers together into a single, unified layer. That way, from here on out, if you want to keep editing, you will be adjusting both layers together, rather than trying to apply similar changes to two layers. If you are satisfied, you can stop here, or if you want to try more options, we have provided two more steps to further change your image.

  • Try combining a black and white silhouette layer with a full-color. This way you don’t have to worry at all about color clashing or anything like that, the effect will be much more like simply casting a shadow that will block out parts of your color photo. You can either find a black and white photo to work with or by turning the saturation down to zero through the saturation tool, Adjustment > Hue & Saturation.

  • Transform your non-silhouette image. With the ease of image adjustment using a program like Pixlr, try things like flipping your image vertically or horizontally, rotating the image, or changing the size, angle, or position using free transform by clicking Edit > Free transform.