Layerform Design Magazine | – Graphic Design Blog, Creative Design Resources, Design Tutorials, Designer Deals and Exclusive Artist Interviews

Menu

Learn to Create a Double Exposure Effect in Adobe Photoshop

double-exposure-effect-tutorial

Double Exposure Goodness!

Hello everybody and welcome to another tutorial by Layerform.com. Today we will be creating the infamous “double exposure” effect, as seen recently on many popular album covers, vinyl sleeves and poster / flyer designs. Its a short tutorial and achievable even if you only have a small amount of Photoshop Knowledge.

This tutorial will teach you some intricate techniques that you can apply to just about anything, including vector masking and using the powerful, yet understated refine edge feature of Adobe Photoshop. (anyone asking for a GIMP version, you ain’t welcome round these parts ya hear?)

But what is a double exposure effect you ask? Well in Photography and Cinematography the Double Exposure Effect is created using images obtained through multiple exposures and combining them. This is obviously a modified version for Photoshop but gives you just as good of a result as if you would have shot this with your camera!

The Final Result:

Double Exposure Effect

Step 1: Prepare your Photo

Open up your image, make sure it either has a neutral or white background. This image below is actually quite complicated to use due to the hair, but we will get to that part later in the tutorial! We got our photo from a free stock website Here, but any photo with a neutral colour background will do fine.

Double-exposure-effect-step1

Step 2:

Press W and select the Magic Wand Tool, we want to select the white background behind our model, so with the magic wand tool click the white areas of your background (or whatever colour you background is) until you have your background selected! This may only take one click or could be multiple if you have a more complicated background. For this image it is a simple one click selection!

Double-exposure-effect-step2

Step 3: Inverse the Selection & Refine Edge

With your background selected, go to Select > Inverse (or Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + I) to inverse your selection, this is so in the next step we can create a vector layer mask for our secondary image.

Double-exposure-effect-step3

With your selection now inverted, go to Select > Refine Edge. In the Edge Detection put in 1.5 and tick Smart Radius. Also, in the Output Settings select “New Layer with Layer Mask”. You should now see the image below:

Double-exposure-effect-step3p2

The image needs some improvement before we can go any further, so in your Refine Edge Window start brushing around the edge of your image (especially if they have long and wavy hair like our subject) to make sure you don’t have any artefacts that will look bad. This is what you should try to achieve here:

Double-exposure-effect-step3p3

Once you have brushed round the edge of your image, press OK. You should now have your focus subject on a Layer with a Layer Mask Enabled.

Step 4: Fill Background

To achieve a nice effect we are going to fill the Background Layer with #F2EDF3, this is a nice off white pink colour and will go nicely with the subject image. You should now have something like the following:

Double-exposure-effect-step4

Step 5:

Select your secondary image, for this we have used an image from Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/Qjd6-RuaVo0, drag it Above your Subject Image. From here, Ctrl/Cmd + Click on the Clipping Mask you made earlier, then with your new background still selected, press the Add Layer Mask button as seen in the image below:

Double-exposure-effect-step5

You should now have the following image:

Double-exposure-effect-step5v2

Step 6:

Hide the top layer for a moment by pressing the eye icon to the left of the layer, then press your model / subject layer. To give the layer more contrast we need to first Desaturate it by going to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate or Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + U.

Double-exposure-effect-step6

From here Press Ctrl/Cmd + L to open the levels Panel and drag the black marker towards the right, or put 150 into the dialog box. The purpose of this is to add some more contrast to our image before we blend the two together!

Double-exposure-effect-step6v2

Step 7:

Now we have applied some contrast to our subject image, move it to the top of your layers (TIP: Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + ]) then set the Blending Mode to Screen. As you can tell from the image below we almost have our effect ready!

Double-exposure-effect-step7

Step 8: Flip the Background Image & Increase Contrast

Ok, so as you can see we are almost there, but not quite. What you need to do next (if using the images we are using), is play around with your background image a little, we are going to flip it vertically. To move this within the mask and not mess up your composition you need to Unlink the Image from the Mask by pressing the Link Icon which sits inbetween. To flip the image vertically go to Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical and you should have the image below:

Double-exposure-effect-step8

Step 9: Finishing touches

So we’re almost at the finish line, but there are a few finishing touches we need to add before we can say “FUCK YEAH!”. Firstly, we need to erase a certain amount of our subject by clicking the Vector Mask on that layer and using a soft Black Brush, and erase the bottom of her body and shoulder, leaving her face and neck flowing into the background image. Finally we need to increase the contrast on this image by clicking off the vector mask and onto the image then Pressing Ctrl/Cmd + L to increase the contrast slightly more.

Double-exposure-effect-step9

We went one step further and colour picked the turquoise colour in the image #4a7975, and with the Vector Mask selected (by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + Click remember?) we used the Radial Gradient Tool to bring in some subtle colour over the subjects face!

Double-exposure-effect-step9v1

FINISHED RESULT:

Double-exposure-effect-step10

Voila! Here we have it, the finished result. We added some noise to the final result (Filter > Noise > Add Noise) and slightly sharpened it also (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen). I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, It was fun to do, and hopefully you learnt something new, whether its how to use a vector mask, or how to use the refine edge tool to cut out complex hair! Please check back regularly for more tutorials or alternatively head back to the homepage to subscribe to the Layerform Email list! 🙂

Please like & share:

CLOSE
CLOSE