Photoshop Tutorial – How to Make a Double Exposure Effect in Photoshop

In Artwork Skills, Image Editing Skills
Create a Double Exposure in Photoshop

Here we come up again to explore another Photoshop skill. Within this post, we are going to make a double exposure image in Photoshop.  Generally speaking, if we talk about double exposure in photography, it is about a single image that views a combination of two different images. Keep reading for a clearer understanding about what double exposure photography is and how to make a double exposure in Photoshop.

What is Double Exposure Photography?

Double Exposure photography is an image editing technique that combines two distinct images into a single image. There are many artists who have been using a double exposure technique in photography artwork for years. Now, it is becoming widely used, because a popular image editing tool like Photoshop have supportive functions in double exposure effect. Double Exposure effect is also called as “Multiple Exposure” effect. Double Exposure effect or Multiple Exposure effect is useful to make a creative look of posters, book covers, and other printed or digital advertising banners. Photoshop have a set of reliable quick functions that can help you to make a double exposure image in Photoshop.

Photoshop is a complete function of image editing tool which capable of helping you to make a double exposure effect in a single image. Now, below you are going to explore a quick Photoshop tutorial about how to make a double exposure image in Photoshop. Prepare two images that will be combined to create a double exposure, and make sure your Photoshop runs on your computer.


How to Make a Double Exposure Image in Photoshop

1. Prepare Two Images (minimal)

The first step is to prepare two images that will be combined by using a double exposure technique. The first image is a model picture. In this Photoshop tutorial, I will use a picture of my favorite girl and my favorite photographer, Roman Samborskyi. The second picture is a panorama of New York City from

Roman Samborskyi
Image: Roman Samborskyi/ (The first image)
New York City Background
Image: New York City Background/ (The second Image)

2. Make the First Selection in the First Image

Firstly, open the model photo model in your Photoshop. Then, start a selection in Photoshop using Magic Wand tool (W). Then, press Ctrl+Shift+I to reverse the selection. After the object has been selected, and then press CTRL + J to duplicate the selection result.

Make a Selection Using magic Wand in Photoshop
Make the first selection in the first image (model image).

3. Make a New Layer

In this step, make a new layer by clicking the “create a new layer” icon at the top of the work canvas. Then, give white color by using Paint Bucket tool (G).


Make a new layer in Photoshop
Make a new layer in Photoshop and add white color tho the selected object.


4. Adjust the Position of the Second Image

In this step, it’s the time to enter the second image (I use the New York Image). To enter the second image, you can drag and drop it. Then, press Ctrl+T buttons on your keyboard, and then adjust the position of the second image on your work canvas by changing the rotation becomes -90 and then press Enter.

Enter the Second Image
Enter the second image by drag and drop it to the canvas in your Photoshop.

5. Make the Second Selection in Both Images Layers

In the second selection, the lines of the selection are still the same. You don’t need to repeat the same selection as in the first selection. To quickly make a selection in both images’ layers, just hold Ctrl button on your keyboard, and then point your cursor at the model image layer (the first image) until you see a pointer with a hand and a rectangular as you can see in the preview below. Click on in, and then it would make the same selection at both layers automatically.

Make a Selection on Both Layers in Photoshop
Hold Ctrl and move the pointer to the first selection of layer.

6. Add a Layer Mask to the second image.

In this step, you need to add a layer mask to the second image (layer). Add a layer mask by clicking the Add Vector Mask icon until you see an adjustment as you can see in my Photoshop work’s preview below.

Add a Vector Mask
Add a vector mask to the second image (second layer).

7. Move the Model Layer

Move the model layer (the first image/layer) right on the New York City layer. Then, click the Add Vector Mask button in your Photoshop menu just like in the sixth step above. Take a look at the preview below to see how it looks like after moving the model layer correctly.

Moving the a layer up above another layer
Move the model image (the first layer) up above the New York layer.

8. Change the Foreground Color in the Model Layer to Black

To change the foreground color, activate the Brush tool (B). Then change the foreground color to black. Then, brush at the model area that will be hidden. Take a look the preview of the result below.

Change the foreground color of a layer
Change the foreground color of the first layer.

9. Change the Foreground Color in the New York Layer to White

In the step, your work moves to the New York City layer vector mask, then perform the same brush as you do in the eighth step. But, in this step, you are changing the foreground color to white. This technique is useful to show the picture that you hid in the previews step.

Changing the Foreground Color of image in Photoshop
Change the foreground color of the second image.

10. Tidy up Your Double Exposure Work

Now, you need to tidy up all things that you need to hide or show all the techniques as you do in the previews steps. This step is you are perfecting your double exposure work.

11. Combine the Colors

To combine the colors in Photoshop, you can try it by using New Fill function. Click the new fill button next to the add vector mask button. In addition, besides combining the colors, you can also add some text if necessary. Try to practice your creativity by adding some graphical trinkets to your double exposure image. Or, you can also add an animated GIF in Photoshop to your double exposure image. As a result, you would find other additional techniques of how to make a double exposure image in Photoshop become more creative.

Combine colors in Photoshop
Combine the two layers colors in by “Create new fill or adjustment layer” function.


Finally, you’ve done making a double exposure image in Photoshop. You can develop your Photoshop skills yourself by adding other effects to your double exposure work in Photoshop. The Photoshop tutorial above is just a basic double exposure effect technique. I believe you can develop your skill in making a better double exposure image in Photoshop. You can practice a double exposure technique in Photoshop to make posters or book covers.

Before you close this post, we encourage you to leave a comment about how to make a double exposure image in Photoshop. If you find something new in your double exposure work, please share it in the comment box below, so we can develop our Photoshop tutorial of making a double exposure image.

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