08 November 2011

Photography editing tips :: diptychs

This month Jackie Rueda is challenging us to create diptychs for La vuelta al mundo. This something I absolutely love to do but I've notice a lot of you are struggling with it, so I though I could give some easy tips on creating dips.

There are great editing tools online, so you don't need to have Photoshop to do any of this. If you're not used to editing, the first thing I would advise you to do is play around with your images till you know what look you want, and what works or not. Put them side by side, on top of each other, cut them... Imagine you are scrapbooking. Remember, what we picture in our head doesn't always work visually, so it's worth playing a bit.

I find that an easy way to do this is use Powerpoint. Office aplications are something everyone is used to deal with, and as access to, but why Powerpoint? Well, this is an application that allows you to make compositions on screen, so you can easily move objects, resize them, cut them... I could as well recommend Publisher, but for what matters you can do just the same with Powerpoint, with the advantage of using a much more comfortable tool that you're used to. Once you've mastered it you can skip this and use photo editing tools, but, whenever possible, play with the composition first. It is very useful for you to visualize the end result quickly, and try different things, where photo editing tools will take you longer.

Tutorial 1 - for beginners
Diptychs with MS Powerpoint

If your diptychs are meant to display on web you can get away with making them on Powerpoint. Just be aware that you'll loose photo quality in this process. If you're new to this photo editing thing, this is a good way to start. (I am assuming you have some basic knowledge. Click the images to magnify them)

1. Open Powerpoint and create a new blank presentation.

2. Insert your pictures on a blank slide and start playing with them.

3. For some editing features, select the picture you want to edit and click the 'Format' tab to access all the features. You can crop them for some different compositions and you can also add some effects like lightning and color. Try them out to see what pleases you (I used 'sepia').

4. At this point you can also add text, by inserting a text box and placing it where you please. You can add a nice quote to complete your composition, or just your copywrite mark to protect your work.

5. Make sure your images are perfectly aligned and that the sizes are matching (if you cropped them). Use the align button on the 'Format' tab while having both images selected to align them.

6. When you're done, drag your composition and place it on the top left corner of the slide, then click the tab 'File' and 'save as', and save the current slide as a JPG.

7. Now your diptych is almost done, you just need to get rid of that white border from the powerpoint slide. Open your image with 'Paint' and remove the extra white by clicking in the bottom right corner of the image and drag (you can do this with any other image editing tool). Save it and your done. You created a diptych!

I suppose you can do just the same with OpenOffice, but I never used that, so I cannot tell. Feel free to ask any question if you need any kind of help. I'll b be back tomorrow with another Tutorial for diptychs with Pixlr and Photoshop.

all photos by me


  1. Thaaanks ! I was wondering how the h... am I going to do a diptych. Though the boy says he knew how or would otherwise figure it out !

  2. thanks for this! I would have never thought to use powerpoint.. I LOVE diptychs!

  3. I forgot to ask, is the flickr group La Vuelta del mundo for anyone.. looks like fun, can I join? I don't read spanish very well..

  4. @Oliva, yes , anyone can join ! All you have to do is join the group in flickr, add your photos (according to the guidelines established at the beginning of each month) and then on the last day of the month you publish the photos in your blog or send the link to your "set" in flickr via a comment in Jackie's blog (casienserio.blogspot.com) and she will include you in the monthly post that is like a worldwide chain of people doing photos of the same theme. You don't even have to be professional, but you have to be curious and want to learn (I am quite illiterate in photography) but participating helps look at things in a different way, and, you learn by doing.

  5. This is so useful and helpful! If only I had powerpoint!

  6. I'm preparing another tutorial on how to make them in Pixlr which is the best free online editor. :)

  7. Olivia, will be nice to see you there!

    Amanda, thanks for answering! :)

  8. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment. I'm so glad you were able to enjoy what I shared; it is hard, sometimes, being vulnerable, but I realize that doing so makes me happy. I'm starting to look at my blog as a journal, really, and that helps me to be honest and raw.

    As for you... :)

    I never thought of using PowerPoint to edit photos! It's true, though...you can! I think that most people just assume that you have to have Photoshop or some form of actual software. Me? I actually use Picasa. It's not the best, I understand, but it is still fun. The GIMP works for me as well, but I really only use it to make collages and such. Thank you for sharing this! I'm sure it will help people a great deal.

  9. I never though about doing this in PowerPoint.
    Thank you so much for sharing this here!

  10. Great tips for editing the pictures with detailed example of pictures.People could easily understand the stem and implement that own self.
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