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Double Exposure in Photoshop

Posted on 17th November 2017
For this tutorial, we are going to use an image of a person, you can use any photo of your liking (people, animals or even other landscapes). The only thing that will be a good idea is that the background is as flat as possible so it will be easier to work with. And you will need another image to “fill” the first one with.

1 – In Photoshop open your image. If you see fit, trim the edges a bit to make it more proportionate.



2 – Depending on your image you will need to make some adjustment in order to brighten it, add contrast or in our case reduce some of the white to give it more detail. Press Command/Control + L (Image > Adjustment > Levels) and play with the values until you are satisfied with them.



3 – Let’s get rid of the background, select the “Magic Wand Tool” (W) and click in the anywhere to select your background. If the selection gets some of your image you can try to reduce the “Tolerance” in the upper menu. To add to your selection, click the “Shift” key and to subtract from it click the “Alt” Key while using your Tools.







4 – To clean up the selection you can use the “Lasso Tool” (L) for the finishing touches. Right-click on top of your selection and choose “Select Inverse” to select your subject.







5 – Click the “Select and Mask” button in your upper left menu and choose the “View Mode” that gives you a better view of the edges. We used “Overlay” (V). Play with the settings to smooth the edges of your selection and choose “New Layer with Layer Mask” in the “Output To” section. Click OK. This will create a copy of your image with a “Clipping Mask” hiding the background.







6 - Remember that if you want to fix your edges further you can select your “Clipping Mask” in the “Layers Panel” and use the “Brush Tool” (B) to erase (using black) or add (using white) to your image.



7 – Create a “New Layer” by clicking on the button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel” place it underneath the subject and fill it with a neutral gray (#a9a8a8) with the help of the “Paint Bucket Tool” (G).



8 – Copy your second image and paste it on top of your subject. Then press Command/Control and click on your subjects “Clipping Mask” to bring the selection out.



9 – Click the “Add Layer Mask” button from the bottom of the “Layers Panel” to create a mask of your subject on your image. Then, you can click on the chain icon between the image and the mask to unlink them and move around or even rotate the photo to your liking.





10 – Make a copy of your subject’s layer (Command/Control + J) and drag it on top of the second image. To this image you can apply some effects to make it more similar to the landscape’s color palette. For example, we went to Image > Adjustments > Color Balance and change the “Midtones” values to give it a greener palette.





11 – Right-click on that layer and select “Apply Layer Mask” then change the “Blending mode of the layer to “Screen”.





12 – To fix the details on the face, select your “Brush Tool” (B) and pick a really soft brush. Create a “New Layer” and place it under the one with the “Screen” blending. Choose a dark color for fill [you can choose it from your image with the “Eyedropper Tool” (I)] and paint on the selected area. In this case we did it to bring out the eyes and mouth.





13 – To bring out some of the landscape, add a “Layer Mask” to your “Screen” layer and with the “Brush Tool” (B) and make some corrections to your image. You can add with white or subtract with black and it’s better to lower the opacity of the brush.



14 – Duplicate your layer, send it under the “Screen” layer and change the “Blending Mode” to “Overlay”. At the end, we weren’t convinced about the grey background shade so we used the “Eyedropper Tool” (I) to sample the image and changed the color to # dcdbd8.





15 – To make the transition on the edges a bit smoother we double-clicked on the mask of the “Landscape” layer to open the “Layer Mask” properties again and tweaked the “Feather”. We then saved it as a “New Layer with Layer Mask” to create a copy. Then we placed it under our “Landscape” layer and lowered the opacity to 50%





You may need to do other adjustments to your image depending on the amount of contrast and the luminosity of the images you chose to work with.

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