Tips on making double exposure portraits
Blend photos with Adobe Photoshop to create an image that tells a story in a unique way.
Double exposure is a photographic technique that involves blending two overlaid images to create one single picture. These images often have a surreal, otherworldly feel that transforms into a story. A story that can’t be achieved with a single photo. Follow these tips to merge your photos and experiment in Adobe Photoshop.
Experiment with portraits to manifest your creativity
Double exposure portraits are evocative, sometimes even hypnotic, and they possess the magic power to invite people in for a closer look. Two portraits of the same person may create a sense of self-reflection. Mixing portraits with other subjects convey specific messages related to the subject.
To create a double exposure portrait, use a portrait as your ‘base image’. Most people start with an underexposed portrait or silhouetted against a plain or seamless background. Try putting your subject completely inside the frame, so it shows a clear outline in the final image. Then, use any photo as the ‘layer image’ to be superimposed on top of the base image. The layer image must be properly exposed to ensure easy blending with the base image. And now, you’re ready to craft your double exposure art piece.
Create a digital double exposure in just a few steps
In analogue photography, double exposure literally means exposing a frame to light twice. With digital photography and photo editing tools, you’re able to create the same effect in a faster and easier way. Here are features in Photoshop that you can experiment with:
- Blending: Blending modes allow you to control how your images are mixed together. Play with different blending modes to see how different effects change your composition.
- Transparency: Opacity controls the level of transparency of your images so you can see how well they blend together. Try out different levels of light blocking to see how they change the overall look and feel.
- Layer Masking: Use layer masks to hide those parts of the layer that don’t seamlessly impose over the second image. This allows more flexibility in editing, so you don’t have to remove part of a layer permanently.