It’s been nearly four weeks since we began the Snap, Style & Share contest. Since then, we’ve seen all kinds of beautiful entries, including some of the beautiful photos above. Some of these entries were submitted awhile back, but some are quite new. One of them came out of nowhere and leapt up near the top of the leaderboard this week.
There’s plenty of time for you to join in and share your best Pixlr Express edited photos. Multiple winners will be getting iPads and lots of other prizes, and entering is quick and easy.
A reminder that anyone can vote, so even if you don’t enter the contest, we welcome all of your likes, loves, and votes in the contest gallery.
Interview: Android Editors Photo Sharing Community
One of our favorite photo-sharing communities has to be Android Editors. They always get high-quality submissions, nearly all of which are taken with smartphones. You may have encountered a few of them in our Pixlr on Flickr group, or you may have seen some of their work when we teamed up with them for the #AE_Pixlr Challenge not too long ago. We’re always seriously impressed with the quality of work their community creates — some of it quite carefully edited using Pixlr Express and similar photo apps to create beautiful works of art. We wanted to find out a bit more about what they do, so we sat down with two of their founding members, Josh St. Germain and Jessii Powers.
How did Android Editors start?
Josh: It all started a few months after Instagram hit the Android market. I quickly became impressed by what people were doing with photos taken and edited with their smartphones. I would look for all these apps that the iPhone Instagrammers were mentioning, but with no luck. I struggled to find a handful of decent editing apps (Pixlr-o-matic was one of my first favorites). I started bumping into other people who were app frustrated like myself. One of those people was Atle Ronningen. Last September, Atle asked if I wanted to team up and start a group that would share Android mobile photography knowledge.
Who else helps runs the community?
Josh: It didn’t take long before we started bringing on other influential droiders. Our first recruit was Jacob Dix, an AMPt member from Sweden, followed by the fabulous Pernille Scheele from Norway. Once we were set on our path, we brought on Jessii Powers, Tom Nussbaum, and Edu Cambra. Tom and Edu were iPhone users who were huge supporters of the mobile photography community, as well as friends of ours. We felt it was necessary to show our support of all mobile photography, no matter the type of device. We scouted around for some writers who could add quality articles — Nakeva Corothers and Hannah Teoh — the two newest members of Android Editors. We each have our strengths and contribute where it’s most beneficial.
Your community participates in a lot of places online. How do all of these spaces work for you?
Josh: Instagram will always be our most interactive platform, seeing that we got our start there. Once we developed AndroidEditors.com, we began using Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, AMPtCommunity.com, and EyeEm for article “teasers” that would bring our audience back to the main website to view the entire article. We still run specific projects on certain channels that function as community engagement tools, much like the recent #AE_Pixlr challenge. There are three Android Editors who are also on the admin panel of AMPtCommunity.com. AMPt has been one of the most influential groups on Instagram (and for the entire mobile community) since before Instagram even hit the Android market. AMPt and Android Editors are like family members.
One of the things that impresses us about your community is how explanatory community members can be when describing how they edited an image. How do you get people to be so thoughtful when they’re sharing?
Jessii: I have yet to meet a single person who wouldn’t explain their editing process if you asked them, and generally they tell you more than you could’ve ever hoped. There really isn’t anything we have to do. It just sort of happens. When we feature members we are always as detailed as we can be, and when we reach out to them they do the same in the spirit of sharing, learning, teaching, supporting one another and growing as artists.
I occasionally see an event halfway across the globe that brings together phone-based photographers for a gallery exhibition. Are there any events like this you think others should check out?
Josh: Absolutely. In spring of this year three Android Editors members were speakers at a mobile photography conference in Spain called D-ive. This was the first taste of “real life” involvement that we had been part of. One of our goals is to take a more local community-based approach and host photo walks, workshops, etc. The future is full of potential.
What are some of your other goals?
Josh: In a simple sense, or goal has always been to be the number one source for Android photography and editing knowledge. Even if that means sharing links to other groups or blogs, we want to share that information. We have to constantly be scouting for new talent that needs to be highlighted, news about devices, news about apps, writing or facilitating tutorials, events. Basically, we need to absorb all things Android and share it with our growing audience in as many ways as possible.
Another major goal of AE is to connect app developers and device companies with our community. Our community is a rich resource of beta testers. We want app developers to know to come to us if they want quality testers and feedback on their product. Being able to be the middle man in those circumstances is something that brings a huge smile to our faces.
What’s the best way for people to get involved with the Android Editors community?
Jessii: Follow us everywhere or anywhere. We’re always hosting something, whether it be a theme week, a challenge like we did with Pixlr, or weekly discussions hosted by Josh.
Join Android Editors for a photo challenge
Android Editors is always offering up a new photo challenge, so consider joining in. They just wrapped up their latest challenge, which encouraged people to turn an everyday sign into an exceptional photo using a smartphone. Check out some of the featured entries:
Turn Your Photos into Art with New "Stylize" Effects in Pixlr Express for iOS 7
"How can I make my photo look like a drawing or a sketch?"
That’s a request we’ve heard more frequently over time. People look to Pixlr Express as a do-it-all app that includes all the photo editing tools they need to do the heavy lifting of photo editing, but they also want a steady stream of unique effects to help them get creative. We love to see people make their own small works of art directly from their smartphones, and today we’re thrilled to announce a whole new batch of effects to stoke your creativity: Stylize.
This set of effects can be found in the iOS 7 version of Pixlr Express under the “Adjustments” tab. You’ll discover about a dozen options for turning your photos into something that looks like it was done in a different medium or on a special type of material: pencil drawings, silkscreen prints, dappled dabs of color, polygonal constructions, rough sketches, halftone dots, posterizing, cross-hatching, watercolors, india ink, lithographs — a whole bunch of ways to add some non-photorealistic interestingness to portraits, landscapes, or anything else that needs some creative flair.
In addition, this update to Pixlr Express for iOS 7 increases the preview size for retina display devices, making the in-app experience much more vivid. And, if you rushed out to buy an iPhone 5S (or ordered one and are patiently waiting for it to show up), the new iSight camera and controls in the 5S — image stabilization, TrueTone flash, and a new sensor — will make every picture you take and edit in Pixlr Express that much more beautiful.
This release follows hot on the heels of last weeks’ big iOS 7 release that totally revamped Pixlr Express for iOS. If you’ve already started using the new collage tool or are ready to try out these new Stylize effects, we’d love to see what you’re making. Tag your photos with #pixlr on popular social media sites, and we may just weigh in with a like or a pic of our own for you.
New Pixlr Express: Redesigned for iOS 7 with Collage & Add Image Features
Just about everyone with an iPhone is excited about the iOS 7 release. It happens today, and we’ve been preparing for it for months. If you’re a Pixlr Express user with an iPhone or iPad, you’ll find a new update waiting for you. It’s a fully redesigned app with a gorgeous new interface. But it’s also got a few big features people have been asking us to add: the ability to create a collage directly from your phone and the ability to add an image.
A brand-new splash screen
You’ll immediately notice a difference with this app. The home or splash screen that you see when you open up the app is nice and clean. And customized for you. The most recent image you edited and saved is now your background screen’s decoration — treated with a stylistic blur. Want to open or edit the most recent image saved to your phone’s camera roll? The “fresh” button will grab that image for quick editing.
A fully redesigned interface (and logo)
People have always been happy with the general design of the Pixlr Express interface, but it’s been sporting the same look for a long time. It was time for a redesign. Apple has moved everyone forward with iOS 7 by encouraging app makers to implement a whole new design language, and we’re fully on board with these kinds of changes. We’ve been working hard to give Pixlr Express a design refresh, but we haven’t changed the way our app works. You’ll find it works in much the same way, although a few details of the interface are different. The reset and favorite buttons (for saving your favorite effects) are now handily located in the upper-left corner by themselves, and the color splash feature now is simply (more minimally) called “splash.” The changes probably won’t be jarring. We expect people will welcome this fresh look.
Faster pack downloads
Pixlr Express comes with plenty of packs of effects, overlays, borders, type, and stickers by default, but there are a ton of extra ones to download if you want them. In the past, those downloads of individual sticker packs sometimes took a few seconds to get to your phone. Ugh. Too long. We worked on that. You’ll find these packs will now download lickety-split. Practically instantaneous. Just like you, we want apps to work quickly, without pesky interruptions. When you’re getting creative, the last thing you want to do is wait.
Add an image
You can now add an image to the current image you’re editing and control its location and opacity. This is a really creative tool for image-editing experts that will allow you to create things like double exposure images or add watermarks to your photos. But it’s probably most easily understood as a way to add your own custom stickers or make a different kind of collage. Just upload a second image and add it to the one you’re currently working on. Boom! Picture-on-picture action.
The web version of Pixlr Express has long had a collage feature, and it’s always been hugely popular. Now you can do it all from your iOS device. Grab up to 25 images (25!) and make a collage out of them using a staggering amount of layout options. We’ve added fine-tuning controls for spacing, roundness of borders, proportion controls, and the ability to change the color of the background. Most important of all: It satisfies a request from our users that we know people will use to make really beautiful and creative collages.
Still supported for iOS 6. Still more to come.
If you’re not ready to update to iOS 7… don’t worry. The app will work just fine with iOS 6 and will be ready when you’re ready to upgrade. Have an Android phone? Don’t fret. The much-requested collage feature is planned for Android, too.
What are you making with the new Pixlr Express?
The highlights of our days are when we get to see what you make with the tools we’ve made for you. Share your photos with the hashtag #pixlr on your favorite social networking sites. Chances are we’ll see them and respond if we can. Or, join our Pixlr on Flickr group. We highlight a new Pic of the Day every day on this blog and to our 2.5 million Facebook fans. We’d love to see what you’re making with the new Pixlr Express.
New Stickers: Spills, Stains, Splatters & Splotches
Sticker fanatics rejoice! Today we’re releasing another pack of stickers for Pixlr Express users. This time around, we’ve added Marks. These splashy stain-y stickers include some creepy skulls, slashes, and smudges, but it’s not all gore and ooginess. You’re also getting some paint spills and coffee smudges — it’s a whole set of splatters and splotches.
This sticker pack harkens back to an older sticker pack that contained lots of spills, stains, and splatter, but this new set has been completely redesigned. Better stickers and more control over the colors of your splashy stains. What are you waiting for? Start making some marks.
Snap, Style & Share Contest: Get a Leg Up on the Competition
The Snap, Style & Share photo competition moves into its second week. Check out some of the recent and impressive “before-and-after” entries:
If you haven’t entered the competition yet, this is a good time to jump into a top leaderboard position without having to go up against entries that have been gaining ground for weeks and weeks. The contest is still wide open — and ready for your best work.
Enter here for a chance to win an iPad, iPad mini, Olloclip lens, and a whole lot more.
Introducing Pixlr Touch Up: a Next-Generation Photo App
We’re excited to announce Pixlr Touch Up, a next-generation photo app that Autodesk is building. It’s free, it’s available right now for Chrome OS and Windows Chrome users, and it does something unique to Pixlr — allows you to edit your photos both online and offline. Read on for a quick breakdown of what it is, what it can do, and how you can get started using it. Ready to install it? Download it now.
A technological innovation
For this project we gathered together a small team of sharp people at Autodesk to imagine a next-generation photo editor. Built on the Chrome App platform, Pixlr Touch Up throws out the idea of traditional, unwieldy, installable software for photo editing in favor of a lightweight, auto-updating, browser-based app. With today’s launch as a starting point, our goal is to take advantage of the latest browser technology to deliver world-class photo editing techniques that anyone can use.
Work in your browser while offline
Web apps working when not connected to the internet? Yes indeed. Our Pixlr web and phone apps have been hugely successful, but one request Pixlr web users have voiced to us is the ability to use our web apps while disconnected from the Internet. That may sound like a crazy contradiction at first, but wouldn’t it be awesome if you could use your browser to edit photos even when you’re off the grid? With Pixlr Touch Up, you can.
Integrated with Google Drive
Google Drive is fast becoming the go-to storage space for millions of people who need a safe, effective (and free) way to store files in the cloud. If you’ve jumped on the cloud storage bandwagon you already know that using Google Drive to store your photos is a huge convenience, as well as a load off of your mind when it comes to making sure your photos are safe and secure. People are saving millions upon millions of images to Google Drive, but there hasn’t been an easy way for people to edit those images. Pixlr Touch Up solves that problem by integrating Google Drive directly in the app.
The magic touch-up feature
We’re kicking off this new app with a signature feature that will help you remove unwanted details from photos in a magical way. Don’t want that creepy guy peeking into the frame of your vacation-at-the-beach photo? Pixlr Touch Up will remove the interloper and blend your background in a very smart way with the click of a button. Clip out power lines, snip out stray objects, and banish rabbit ears from behind the heads of junior high school students.
Chromebook’s best friend
We love the fact that everyday consumers can buy a Chromebook for a few hundred dollars and take advantage of Google’s apps to do just about everything. We especially love the idea of those same consumers having powerful Pixlr photo-editing tools at their disposal.
Who will want to start using Pixlr Touch Up?
If you’re looking for a smart app to quickly get your photos just the way you want, you should give Pixlr Touch Up a try. If you use Google Drive, this is going to be an indispensable tool. If you are a Windows user who also uses Chrome, this is the offline photo editor you’ve been waiting for, and if you’ve got a Chromebook, this is right up your alley.
Where does Pixlr Touch Up go from here?
Like most app developers, we are keenly interested in seeing how people use our apps and will use that data along with feedback and requests from the community to inform what may come next. So please let us know what you think and keep watching this blog for more information.
Today we’re launching a contest that celebrates not just taking photos — but editing them, too. It’s a contest that’s perfect for students, but just about anyone between the ages of 13 and 24 can enter. We’ll be giving away some great prizes like an iPad, an iPad mini, and an Olloclip iPhone lens (among many others).
Style it in Pixlr Express to improve and enhance it.
Share the before and after photos on the contest site — and anywhere and everywhere else that you think will give you a leg up on the competition.
Everyone will vote for their favorite photos, with a panel of judges choosing the ultimate winners from a big batch of popular finalists. We’ll be tracking (and showing off) some of the top photos here on the Pixlr blog in the coming weeks, as well as some of the more interesting ones that catch our eye.
Whether you’re a serious student of design, someone who loves exercising their creativity, or just someone with some great photos sitting on their phone from summer vacation, this is a fun and easy contest to enter. So, enter now!
And let us know what you make. Share your entries with the Pixlr community on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or even in our Pixlr on Flickr group. The more eyeballs on your entry, the better.
Can u please tell me what would be the correct filter or adjustment for a "painterly" look when applying to a photo? There is a look like this on Photoshop, which I do not have but was told works well. I love this website!
Well, we don’t have a lot of effects that will do quite that. You can use a variety of adjustments in Pixlr Editor, but what would really recommend is using Pixlr Express. Check out this tutorial that I did. It shows you how to make a painterly portrait by using a bunch of overlays.
Make an Artistic Double Exposure Silhouette with Pixlr Editor
Today, we’re going to show you how to make a double exposure silhouette using Pixlr Editor. We’ll start with the basics of the technique and then give you some more advanced tips and tricks.
Double exposure photos are cool. In the days of 35-mm film, these magical-looking images were one of the neatest tricks a photographer could pull off. It wasn’t easy, though. It took a lot of forethought and planning and trial and error in the darkroom to get these otherworldly, surreal photos to line up to perfection.
These days it’s relatively easy to create a double exposure image. But it still takes some skill and a bit of an artistic eye to create a superior one. Luckily, all of us have an artistic eye. We just have to focus it and spend a little time on our work. Double luckily: We all have access to free tools like Pixlr Editor.
Step 1: Start with a silhouette
Just because you can place two images together doesn’t mean they’ll look awesome as a double exposure. In general, you’ll see the most success if your “main photo” is a full silhouette, a near silhouette, or an underexposed portrait. You can go digging one up on the Internet or you can take a portrait you may already have and underexpose it or darken it in various ways. Open your silhouette image in Pixlr Editor. This will be your main image.
Step 2: Add a secondary image
Open your secondary image in Pixlr Editor. (You may want to resize it so it is about the same size as the main image.) Choose “Select all” and then “Copy” from the Edit menu. Paste this secondary image into the main image. You now have one canvas with two layers. Unlock the background layer by double clicking on the lock icon. You will need to be able to edit and/or move around both layers during this process.
Tip: For your secondary image, a nature-oriented photo or one with a pattern should work well. Some great images to try include trees or tree limbs, flowers or foliage, cityscapes, and cloudy skies.
Step 3: Adjust layer settings of secondary image
Select the nature-oriented layer and play around with the layer settings. You have a lot of choices here, but the two best bets for this technique are the “Screen” and “Lighten” blending modes. Experiment with these until you find one that works best. If your images are incredibly compatible, you might only need to adjust the opacity of your images and not even bother with the layer settings. But chances are adjusting these layer settings are going to give you the best results.
Tip: Your silhouette photo doesn’t need a blending mode like screen or lighten. It’s your “base” for this exercise, so leave it underneath your nature-oriented photo with a “Normal” layer setting. You can alter it in other ways, but it probably won’t need a different layer setting.
Step 4: Make any additional adjustments
The real skill here is in being patient and open to experimentation. You might want to adjust the opacity of your main layer. Bumping up the contrast of a layer (Adjustment > Brightness & Contrast) can make a difference. Turn down the saturation of a layer completely if you want to see how a layer looks in black and white (Adjustment > Hue & Saturation). Once you’re done, collapse all of your layers into one (Layer > Flatten image) and take a look. You may find that adjusting the contrast and lightness one more time may be the winning detail. Here’s what my final product looks like:
Getting advanced with this technique
Once you have that basic technique mastered, you’ll want to dig in and try a few other things. Here are some examples of silhouette double exposures I created and what I did to make them different.
MOVE THINGS AROUND
You’re really getting creative here, so don’t be bound by 90-degree angles. Use the “Free Transform” tool in the Edit menu to rotate or resize one of the images. Try rotating one of the layers and see if you can get a neat effect. Move the layers around until you start to see details line up or play off each other. I wasn’t getting any exciting effects with this double exposure image of a guy walking in harsh light and a field of wildflowers until I rotated the secondary image of wildflowers into a full upside-down position. Now, it’s much more intriguing:
COLOR VS. BLACK AND WHITE
The effect works best when the light and dark areas of each of your photos play off each other, which is why black and white photos work great. Try it with your silhouette as a black-and-white photo and with your secondary photo in full color. It might look cooler that way. Or, just knock out all the color by lowering the saturation of each layer. Or, do like I did here and use two images that have similar colors. I saturated the heck out of the main layer to make this blue sky crazy blue:
People will probably look for meaning in your double exposure. So consider your image choices carefully. You’re combining/juxtaposing two images and forcing some sort of relationship onto the resulting photo. It may make sense to take a photo of a glacier and contrast it with an image of burning fire. Or, as I did here, take a picture of a beautiful woman and combine it with a photo of a beautiful Roman goddess to play off of likeness. It’s technically not a silhouette, but it’s an example of how nearly any two photos can be combined as a double exposure.
Of course, not every work of art needs to have meaning attached to it. Looking interesting is usually good enough, and you can make some very interesting double exposure silhouettes using Pixlr Editor.
It’s much easier than you might think, so give it a go and share what you make with us on Twitter or in our Pixlr on Flickr group. We’re always excited to see what people are making with Pixlr apps.
We’re always adding new sticker packs to Pixlr Express, and today we added a brand-new set of stickers: tattoos. This is the fifth set of stickers added in the last month or so; we’ll keep adding more.
These new stickers take the place of the very fun and successful Illamasqua expansion pack, which today ends its limited time run. We’ve had a great time seeing what people made with the Alex Box designed Illamasqua stickers. If you were one of the folks who tweeted your #illamasquarade creations in the past few weeks — thank you! Everyone at Pixlr got a huge kick out of the things you made.
What’s next on the sticker front? Check back with this blog or follow us on Twitter to be updated whenever we add new stuff. Or, show us what you create with these new stickers via Twitter or our Pixlr on Flickr group. We choose a Pic of the Day every day and promote it here and on our Facebook pages. We’d love to add some quality tattoo-riddled images into the mix.