Double Exposure Tutorial in 10 Steps

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Blossoming Hair


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Double Exposure technique is a great approach in transforming a plain portrait into an original and creative piece, hence in this post, I will share with you the editing process I went through to accomplish such results.

First of all, in order to produce a good Double Exposure Portrait, you will need two photographs – a portrait, such as a model’s side profile, which would preferably have a distinctive outline and a landscape or a nature photograph with good texture.

I am using Adobe Photoshop CC 2017

STEP 1:

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-16-12-43Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 16.13.08.png

Start by selecting a subject from the background with a ‘Pen Tool’, which you can find on a Left Side Tool Selection Bar.

There are many ways of selecting a subject/ object from the background, however, the pen, in my opinion, is a very precise tool.

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When you have finished selection, right click and choose ‘Make Selection

STEP 2:

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 16.35.14.pngTo get rid of the background,  go to ‘Layers‘ on the Right Side Selection Bar then at the bottom of that window select ‘Layer Mask’ icon:

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 16.34.56.png

STEP 3:

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In order to create a white background behind the model, you need to create a new adjustment layer by selecting a ‘Solid Colour‘ icon, which is at the bottom of ‘Layers’ window:

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Now you can select a white background on the ‘Colour Picker’ window. The new white background layer will end up on top of the model layer

The new white ‘Colour Fill 1’ layer will end up on top of the ‘Model’ layer.

STEP 4:

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To reorder the layers just ‘click and hold’ the top white ‘Colour Fill 1’ layer and drag it bellow the ‘Model’ layer. 

STEP 5:

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-17-13-42To make the photograph black and white, select the icon displayed bellow, which you can find at the bottom of ‘Layers’ window:

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Then select ‘Black & White’ option and adjust the colour properties.

STEP 6:

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Now you can upload your second photograph: (File > Open) and with a ‘Move Tool.’ Simply select and drag the second photograph onto the first one (the ‘Model Layer‘)

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-17-32-04Adjust the positioning and the size of the second photograph so it fits your first one: (Edit> Free Transform)

STEP 7:

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Set the ‘Screen‘ blending mode for the layer (the option is on the left side from the ‘Opacity‘)

STEP 8:

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Make the second image black and white with the new adjustment layer, the icon displayed bellow:
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Then right-click on the top layer and select ‘Create Clipping Mask,’ it means the further effect adjustments will be only applied to your second ‘texture‘ photograph (layer underneath) 

STEP 9:

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-17-57-27In the black & white ‘Colour Properties‘ window, choose one of the presets you like the most.

I have selected ‘High Contrast Blue Filter’ as it enhances the contrasting colours in my ‘texture’ photograph.

STEP 10:

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At this stage, you can now make any adjustments to the photograph you like. Start by moving your ‘texture‘ picture layer around until you are happy with the arrangement.

You can also save the photograph in a ‘jpg‘ format and re-upload it to make any general editing adjustments.

(After saving the Photoshop file as a jpg, all of the layers will be joined together so you won’t be able to modify an individual layer. For that reason, I also recommend keeping a Photoshop format of your photograph in case if you want to make any correction in the future)

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