Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create a Double-Exposure Image in Photoshop

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
I’m going to show you how to create a double-exposure image from 2 photos. If you’d like to use
this image, I provided its link in my video’s description or project files. For the second
photo, you’ll get the best results if the person you choose has deep shadows on one
side like these examples that I got from It doesn’t matter if they’re color or black
and white. However, if your photo has general lighting like this one, I’ll show you how
to transition it into deep shadows. If you’d like to use this photo, I provided its link.
The first step is to create a selection around your subject. For this example, I’ll use the
Quick Selection Tool. I’ll make the tool’s size 10 pixels and drag over the subject to select it. I can click either the Refine Edge button or go to Select and Refine Edge. I did an in-depth tutorial on Refine Edge, so if you’d like to watch it, I provided that
link, as well. I’ll check Smart Radius and adjust its size to make the brush big enough
to cover the edge of the hair. I’ll output it as a New Layer and click OK. Remove all its color by pressing Ctrl + Shift + U on Windows or Cmd + Shift + U on a Mac. To adjust
its brightness and contrast, open your Levels window by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + L. Drag the white and black Input levels to the point just before where the histogram really starts
to rise and click OK. To make room for the tropical trees, make sure your subject is
positioned to one side of your document. Just press “v” to open your Move Tool and drag
it over. Make a copy of it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J. Click the “fx” icon and click “Gradient Overlay”. Change the Blend Mode to “Multiply” and click the gradient bar. Click the “Black, White” gradient and click OK. Make the Angle: minus 180 degrees and
the Scale: 40%. Then, click OK. To restore some of the brightness on her face, click the Layer mask icon to make a layer mask next to the active layer. Open your Brush Tool
and Brush Picker. We’ll adjust the size in a moment. Make the Hardness: 0% and the Opacity
and Flow: 100%. Then, press Enter or Return. To make your brush larger or smaller, press
the right or left bracket keys on your keyboard. Now, brush over your subject in areas where
you’d like to restore its original brightness. Click the bottom layer to make it active and
click the New Layer icon to make a new layer above it. We’ll fill the empty layer with white. To
do this, press Shift + F5 key at the top of your keyboard to open the Fill window. Or,
you can go to Edit and Fill. Open the fly-out menu, click White and click OK. Open the image
you’d like to blend into the person. You can use this one, but feel free to use anything
you want, as long as its bottom is relatively dark and dense and ends somewhere at its top.
Ultimately, we want the top of the image to be pure white. If you’re using image, too,
open your Dodge Tool. If your foreground color isn’t white, press “D” on your keyboard
to make your foreground and background colors black and white respectively, and then, press
“x” to invert them. Make the Range: Highlights and the Exposure: 100%. Adjust the size of
your tool and brush over the sky. To place the trees onto your subject, press “v” to
open your Move Tool and drag it up onto the tab of your subject. Without releasing your
mouse or pen, drag it down onto the image and release. We want to place the trees on top
of the person. To do this, just drag the trees layer to the top of the Layers panel. Go to Edit, Transform and “Rotate 90 degrees Clockwise”. Let’s temporarily reduce its opacity, so we
can see the subject under it. To resize and position it, open your Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. Go inside the Transform and position the trees or whatever else your image
is over your subject. You can always reposition and resize it later, if you want. Press Enter
or Return to accept it. Increase its opacity back to 100%. Click the Layer Mask icon to
make a layer mask next to the active layer. Press “B” to open your Brush Tool. Increase
your brush size a bit and brush over the left side of the trees to mask them out. To restore
back areas of the trees, press “x” to invert your foreground and background colors and
adjust the brush size if you need to.Now, brush over those areas of the trees you want
to restore back. Continue to finesse your image brushing in and restoring back areas
until the two images create a double-exposure. This is Marty from Blue Lightning
TV. Thanks for watching!

100 Replies to “Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create a Double-Exposure Image in Photoshop”

  1. Love your tutorials my man – they are a God send as I navigate my way around the P-Shop learning curve. I come from the video and film world, and trying to do this to 400-900 frames of video is incredibly labor intensive.

  2. hi when the video start that come Blus Lighting TV how to do that in my video or what that kinda thing called plz help >>>>

  3. I am soo close from finishing it but the part where you use the brush to erase the second image is not worrking… i tried inverting the colours both ways but it still doesnt work. HELP ME PLEASE

  4. Hi Marty, quick question are you able to achieve the same effect using photoshop elements 9 even 13.

  5. great tutorial as always but i didnt get this one and i have tried many double explosion videos and got stuck, too difficult,

  6. Hi, I've got to 6m15s where you click the layer mask and start brushing out the left side of the trees but when I click on the brush tool and increase the size, nothing is happening?? Any help would be appreciated on this. Am I doing something wrong?

  7. Check out the music video I just created for Tim Victor using the same double exposure techniques! – The same processes were used in after effects using moving image to create a pretty cool effect! Check it out!

  8. I want that lay with tress to be in color, I got picture in color but when i drag it to women it become black and white

  9. when you use the brush towards the end of the video to blend the two pics how do you get the fade effect that he has on the brush

  10. Best Tutorial ever on You Tube. Good on yeah mate. Keep it up and give us some more excellent tutorials.!!!>>>,<?///,<,.;

  11. My brush tool isnt working when you "brush out" the excess trees, and when you "brighten the woman's face"? Any help would be appreciated.

  12. my brush tool will not blend out , but instead paint either black or white, any suggestions how i can fix this?

  13. just started photoshop few days and that the best video i found to learn double exposure ,… easy to understand,… thanks a lot!!! subscribed!!

  14. what can i do if doesn't restore the trees just erase them i changed the color with X but nothing hapens please help 🙂

  15. whenever you used the brush to fade the two images together, all it did was just draw white over top of it. How can i fix that?

  16. @Blue Lightning TV Photoshop Hey. I'm having difficulties at the last part. I can clear forest image with my brush tool but its not restoring back when i reverse colors. How can i fix that?

  17. Marti, you're the man. I am so thankful for you. You have made me such a better designer since I have been following you. Your complex, but yet so easy to do skills have evolved me very much. Here is an image I made off your tut and my imagination. You will always be a teacher. Thank you

  18. When the Student is ready the Teacher appears…
    I'm so ready and man oh man you're every bit an awesome Teacher.
    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *