How to Create a Double Exposure Image in Photoshop for BEGINNERS

finished double exposure effect

Hey guys! So today’s post is going to be a Photoshop tutorial! I hope to do more of these, so let me know if you like them! I’m going to be showing you how to make a double exposure image, this is targeted towards beginners, so if you are looking for a super in-depth tutorial with a ton of detail this is not exactly that!

Enough of my rambling, let’s get to it!


So first you want to create a new project (File>New or Ctrl+N) 

I made the dimensions 5284 pixels wide and 3284 pixels tall. There isn’t a reason I made them this big, I just like the size and think it is easy to work with. I also made it grayscale so that I wouldn’t have to create an adjustment layer later.

After you open that you want to open the base photo you are using (File>Open or Ctrl+O). I used a profile view portrait I took of my friend. 

Once I opened that photo I used the quick selection tool to select the model and separate her from the background. 

You can also click Q to make sure you have everything selected and if not you can use a brush to select or the erase tool to deselect.

After you have your model selected create a layer mask using the button at the bottom right, the one that is a white rectangle with a gray circle inside. Once you’ve created the layer mask click the properties tab.

Once you’ve selected the properties tab click the mask edges button. Use the brush and brush over the model’s hair. This just makes the gaps in the hair transparent.

After that’s done, move (V) the photo to your first project (I named mine “double exposure”).  Once you get the photo to the other window, you can resize it however you want using the free transform tool (Ctrl+T) I flipped mine horizontally just because I liked it better. Once you have it just the way you like, press enter.

Now that that’s done, open the photo are going to put on top of your base photo. I used this forest photo I found on Google Images.

I made sure mine had a little bit of white, negative space at the top so that it would blend better.

Once you have that image open drag it to your project (V). Re-position it on top of your base photo then change the blend mode to screen. This step is important in creating the double exposure effect.

Next, create an adjustment layer, (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels). I changed my levels to 50, 1.30, 255. You can also add curves and exposure. I added an exposure layer to make the background grayish. You can add whatever layers you want to, be creative! 

Once you have your photo just the way  you want it, add a text layer, (T). Type whatever you want to, I typed “SILENT IN THE TREES” because it’s one of my favorite lines from one of my most favorite songs *cue Twenty One Pilots fangirling*.  

After I did that I created a copy of the text layer (Ctrl+J). With the layer copy selected apply a motion blur filter, (Filter>Blur>Motion Blur). I set the distance to 127. Make sure you have the blurred layer copy underneath the original text layer. Take the layer copy and drag it slightly to the right. After that, create another copy of the blurred copy and drag it slightly to the left. Next, select all the text layers and merge layers

Since you merged all the layers you can move them around and re-position them all together.

I tweaked the layers and moved them around a little bit until I liked the way it looked.

Once you’ve done that you’re done!

finished double exposure effect

The good thing about this project is that it can easily be personalized, it’s extremely versatile.

I would love to see your finished projects so leave me a comment or tag me in your Instagram photos (@theashgypsy) with your master pieces!

If you enjoyed this tutorial and would like to see more in the future, share this with your friends and let me know!



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