Jul 15, 2014

How to Create a Double Exposure in Photoshop

How to Create a Double Exposure in Photoshop

There have been so many phans who have suggest we show how to create a double exposure in photoshop. A double Exposure is traditionally done using a film camera by taking two different photos on the same Exposure of film. The images will combine in unique ways, giving you the “double exposure” effect.

We were asked to create a double exposure and we decided to take it a step further. In this tutorial you will learn how to combine multiple photos together as well as create a unique piece of art.

Choosing images for your double exposure.

It is important to choose the right images for your double exposure. You will want to choose images that have a high Contrast between Light and dark. In this case we chose flowers that were photographed on a white Background and a subject that was photographed on gray(which we cut out using a Layer Mask in Photoshop)

Because we are completing this effect in Photoshop there are no restrictions when it comes to what images you will combine. With endless possibilities it seems appropriate to choose objects that have some relationship with one another. In this case we choose a young, well-dressed woman to pair with flowers. You can also use “opposites” or images that will tell a story when combined.

Blending Images

The real key to creating a double exposure is to combine your images together using blending modes in Photoshop. I would recommend flipping through the different blending modes in Photoshop to see which modes will work best for your image. It is also a good idea to change the layer order of the images. A few good blending modes to experiment with are Screen, Multiply, Lighten, Soft Light, and Overlay.

In this tutorial we use a Lighten blending mode on our subject over top of flowers.

Layer Masking for Added Effect

After we blend our images together using blending modes we jump into using Layer Masks for added effect. In this case I wanted to have part of the subject’s hat defined by flowers. To do so I created a selection of the subject cut out from her Background and loaded it onto a duplicate layer of flowers. Then I sized the flowers to fill up the space of the hat.

Next I used another duplicate of the flower layer to fill in an area of her Face where there were no flowers. Because we are using a Lighten blending mode on the subject, she will not show up unless there is a dark area underneath (such as the flowers).

Coloring the Image

After the double exposure is complete we add some Color to the image to make it a bit more interesting. To add some Color to the white background we use a Levels Adjustment Layer. Use the lower sliders that control the Output Levels, bringing the “white point” down on the different Color Channels. In this image we adjust the Green and Blue Channels to give the image a bit of an orange color to match the flowers.

Then we use a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to add a Complimentary Color to the outer edges of the image. Using the Colorize button on the Adjustment Layer allows us to create any Color we desire. From here all you have to do is use a Layer Mask to define where you would like this color to be visible.

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  • user image
    shakeel khan

    why yu guys making the same tutorial again? it is almost same as your prior tutorial

    • user image
      Kevin DeLorey

      I’d say the new tutorial is a bit different. He used blending modes rather than selecting out the background and masking the person off with the tree’s selection. I didn’t mind seeing this tutorial updated.

    • user image

      This one is more complex and with time Phlearn tutorial look more pro. I supposed it’s also hard to find a new subject twice a week. I personally am very greatful to have those tutorials.

  • user image

    I thought the same thing a couple weeks ago, they are running out of ideas but with the duplicate of some of the old tutorials Aaron adds a new technique and tricks which make it better.

  • user image

    I love phlearn!! This tutorial taught me so much, I had to try it myself for the first time.

  • user image
    Todd Bielby

    I agree Aaron keep doing what your doing. This one was much more artistic and inspired me more. I would love to try this with a senior portrait for something a little different.

  • user image

    I am just spend a hour on my daughter’s pic and result is come-out with different pic, (she too shy for this pic i click lots of shot natural and BW mode) this is actually BW Pic. Thanks to Phlearn.

  • user image

    I am just spend a hour on my daughter’s pic and result is come-out with different pic, (she too shy for this pic i click lots of shot natural and BW mode) this is actually BW Pic. Thanks to Phlearn.

  • user image

    I am just spend a hour on my daughter’s pic and result is come-out with different pic, (she too shy for this pic i click lots of shot natural and BW mode) this is actually BW Pic. Thanks to Phlearn.

  • user image

    My daughter has been wanting an image like this, so glad I found this tutorial!!

  • user image

    I’ve been looking for this flow image on Fotolia and had no luck finding it. Can you, please let me know the name or num.code for it? Thanks

  • user image

    I m also very interested in the flower picture. Could you maybe send more information to my mail address? Many thanks for your efforts and the video! Greatings from Germany

  • user image

    Hi! Great tutorial!!! Where I can found the pictures to practise? I don’t found the picture for the flowers 🙁

  • user image

    Hi Aaron. I love phlearn! Im learning a lot. This is my version of the double exposure technique. Greetings from Holland.

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    Vaughn wood

    This was very interesting segment i loved it and will say you called it, its complex I had to watch it and take notes, but thats ok because thats how you Phlearn.


  • user image

    Hey Aaron thanks for your tutorial look what i have learn from your tutorial

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    Anita Morales

    Complicated and challenging as it was, I really enjoyed your tutorial. Now would you be interested in tackling a multiple exposure project with say about 20-25 sports photos in one image? Thanks!

  • user image

    Hey! Your videos have really helped me through college assignments so thank you! There is another sort of double exposure I would love to learn but its quite complex and was hoping you guys could help me, I’ll link an example.

  • Joanna Whitehead

    I enjoyed this tutorial – first time approach. Your CC is welcome and appreciated. 🙂

  • user image

    I would like this tutorial written to print. I find following the video very difficult. Thank you if you know a link to the written version.

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    Vince Nieass

    Just came across this tutorial and had to give it a go… I’ve been seeing lots of these amazing double exposure images out there lately, and it’s been great to try one out for myself! Be great to know what people think of it…

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Create a Double Exposure in Photoshop

    • user image

      Mesele sadece agac değil arkadaş, sen hala anlamadın mı?