How to Create a Double Exposure Effect Using Snapseed

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Double exposure is a film and photography technique popular from the dawn of the film camera. It involves exposing a single film twice before developing the photograph to get an artistic effect. Today, you don’t have to depend on camera films to create this effect when it can be done quickly using photo editing apps.

Snapseed is one of the most useful photo editing apps for smartphones and comes with a feature called Double Exposure. As the name suggests, the feature lets you merge two images without breaking a sweat. In addition, it also provides multiple blending modes for you to experiment with.

Let’s show you how to create the double exposure effect using Snapseed.

Creating a beautiful double exposure in Snapseed is a two-part process. First, you have to convert the image into black and white. It helps with the blending modes when exposing the second image. Before getting started, you can download the Snapseed app for free.

Download: Snapseed for Android | iOS (Free)

Here’s how to create a black and white silhouette image:

  1. Open Snapseed and import your base image.
  2. Go to Tools > Black and White and choose a Color Filter that makes your background bright.
  3. Adjust the Brightness and Contrast to get a silhouette. Keep Contrast to 100 for best results.
  4. Tap on the tick mark to save your edit.

  5. Head to Tools > Curves and select the RGB color channel.
  6. Bring the right pointer all the way down to make your image completely black, and save it by tapping the tick mark.
  7. Open the Edit Stack > View edits option, tap on Curves​​​​​​, and open Slack Brush.
  8. Clean any white spots from your subject using the Brush.


You have completed the first step to making a double-exposure image. Ensure the silhouette you want to keep is black and the part you don’t want is white (usually the background). You will understand its significance when working with the Blending modes.

Here’s how to use the Double Exposure feature:

  1. After completing the black and white edit, head to Tools > Double Exposure.
  2. Tap on the Open Image option to add your second image.
  3. Position the second image as you prefer and select the Lighten blending mode from the Style options. The image will only be visible in the dark areas.
  4. Add another image and set the Blending mode to Darken or Subtract. It will add the image on the white part.
  5. Head to Stack Options, open View edits, tap on the last Double Exposure edit, and select the Slack Brush. Use it to remove unnecessary parts from your image.
  6. Fine-tune your image with some final tweaks and add effects and filters if required before exporting the final edit.


That’s it. You have your double exposure effect and can experiment with it as much as you want. You can add objects to another image or create something similar to a movie poster. We also have a guide for creating a double exposure effect in Photoshop.

The two crucial steps while using the Double Exposure function are to use the Blending modes properly and to use the Slack Brush to mask less important areas. The Slack Brush is similar to using layers and masks in Photoshop.

Understanding the Blending Modes in Snapseed for Double Exposure

It is essential to understand how the Blending modes or Styles in Double Exposure work in Snapseed if you want to create a double exposure effect. There are a total of six Blending Styles, here’s how they are different from each other.

Default

The Default mode adds the second image to the first one with 50% opacity. For instance, if your base image is black and the second image is white, you will get a gray image as a result.

Lighten

The Lighten mode will pick up the brighter pixels from the two images. For instance, if you have a black box as the base and white as the second layer, the result will be a white image.

Darken

The Darken mode is exactly the opposite of Lighten. It will pick up the darker pixels from the two images. So if you have a black box as the base image and white as the second layer, the result will be a black image.

Add

The Add blending mode adds the two RGB values of each pixel for the upper and lower layers. For instance, Black is 0 and White is 255, therefore, the result of the Add blend mode will be a white (255 value) image.

Similarly, if you pick a color with the RGB value 50-50-50 and use the same color in Add blending mode, the result should be 100-100-100.

Subtract

The Subtract mode is the opposite of the Add mode. As the name suggests, it subtracts the second layer from the base layer.

For instance, if you use a color with the RGB value 50-50-50 for both layers, the result should be a black image (at 0). However, the tool isn’t completely accurate and could result in some errors, causing a darker shade of the same color.

Overlay

The Overlay Blend mode picks up the brighter colors from both layers and presents a vibrant and contrasty result. It is one of the most useful and complex blend modes in Snapseed.

The technicalities will help you understand how the blending modes work, but it’s best to try all the styles yourself before finalizing your edit to get the best result possible. All blend modes work best at 50% opacity, which is set by default. For Adobe users, here’s how to use the blending mode in Photoshop.

Use Snapseed to Create a Double Exposure Effect on Your Smartphone

Snapseed is one of the most helpful photo editing apps for Android and iOS devices, and you can download and use it for free. This article showed you how to create a double exposure effect by merging two images using the Double Exposure tool, and we also overviewed the blending modes that can come in handy when you are looking for new ideas.

If you use Snapseed for editing your images, refer back to this tutorial and give the double exposure technique a try.



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