Diptychs – A Simple Way to Elevate An Image

It’s been a while since we shared some simple, creative tools to change how you and your viewers perceive your images. Last fall, I taught a 7-week class at Chicago Photography Classes about creating series. Our last stop for the class was the difficult-to-shoot Thompson Center. Given the chaos of this building, I tend to be drawn to the less-chaotic tile floor on the lower level. You get a nice elevated view from the first floor looking down.

I was struggling to come up with a decent series of this location, so what I ended up doing was creating a diptych from one image. Kind-of a series, right? The final result is what you see below.

Thompson Center, chciago

This is something I’ve revisited a few times. Most recently in an attempt to pitch for a particular project I have in mind. Anyway, I thought this simple process might be something worthwhile for you. So I’ll walk you through each step with another image. An older image from the Milwaukee Art Museum that I think works very well with this process.

I start in Lightroom and make a virtual copy of the image (Photo -> Create Virtual Copy).

Next, flip the image horizontally (Photo -> Flip Horizontally).

Here’s what they look like side-by-side in Lightroom. And basically what it’ll look like once we create a single file from the two images.

Now you need to open each file in Photoshop. From there you’ll check the image size (Image -> Image Size). They’ll both be exactly the same, you only need to check one to get the dimensions to create a new file.

Next, you’ll create a New file (File -> New). You need to double the width since you’re putting these two image files in the same “new” file. The height will remain the same as the original file. So, in this case, dimensions are basically 14,060 wide x 4686 high. If you intend to print from this file you want to keep the resolution and not resize to something smaller.

And there’s your new blank file. You now need to use the move tool to drag your original images into this file. Click on the move tool, the cross with an arrow on each end. Then click on one of your original image files at the top of the screen and drag it into your new file.


Repeat for the second image file.

Flatten your image (Layer -> Flatten Image) and save it where you like.

And, there you go!

Here are a few other examples using the same technique.



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