Easy Double Exposure Image Techniques

Resource Files - Download

Lets start with a new canvas. I like making all of my work as big as possible, so we’re going to make this 12x12 inches at 300DPI, setting our background color to a pale yellow/tan. I used this specific color - #f4f2e3.

Lets drag our background layer onto the canvas. Place it wherever you think fits best and drop your layer opacity down to 30%. You can find this option in your layer palette right next to your blending modes. You might need to erase the top of the image with a soft brush to blend it into the background a little more.

Next we’re going to add a subtle vignette to draw the eye more towards the center of the image. Select your elliptical marquee tool from your layer palette and drag your curser from the top left corner down to the bottom to create a circled selection. 

Once you’ve made your selection, navigate to the “select" option in your menu and select “inverse”.

With the outside of the circle selected, create a new layer and navigate to your paint bucket tool and fill this new selection with black. 

We want to blur this out so it fades into the image. To do this, deselect your selection and head to filter > blur > gaussian blur and set your radius to 647. This will blur the black layer just enough to still leave the center alone but will fade all of your corners to black. Once you’ve blurred it out, drop your layer opacity to 30%. You should have something that looks like this so far.

ext - We’re going to drag in our cutout.

ets go back to our mountain image and bring it in again on a new layer. This will be the layer that we use to cut out the mountain shape on the side of our cutout. Highlight your new mountain layer and select the free transform tool (CMND+T) and rotate it -90 degrees so the mountain horizon lays on his left side. I dropped the opacity of this layer so i could see where i was placing the mountains in relation to my cutout. Once I’ve found a good placement I brought my mountain layer opacity back up to 100%.

avigate to the magic wand tool, set your tolerance of this tool to 68, and select the sky from your mountain layer and delete it (Backspace). You can find the tolerance option right below your main menu for PS.

With the sky deleted, you should have something that looks like this:


Next - we’re going to cut out the mountains horizon shape into the cutout. Head over to the layer palette, hover over the mountain layer, press command and click on the image of the layer palette to make a selection of the image without the sky. Use the step we applied above and select the inverse of this shape. Click on your “cutout” image and hit backspace. This will delete the space outside of the mountain image and will give our cutout the mountain horizon shape on his left side. Your image should look something like this:

Now we need to get our mountain layer selected in the same shape that our cutout is in. To do this, hover over the image of the “cutout”, hold command, and click on the image in the layer palette to highlight the cutout shape. Click above on your mountain layer, select the inverse, and delete the outside space. 

Set this mountain layer to “screen” as your blending mode.

Now to start coloring. Click on the black/white circle below the layer palette and create a new gradient map. We want this to have even blue and white hues so were going to set our shadow color to blue and highlight color to white. The specific color we used for this blue is #0e0e38. 

nd to top it off we’re going to add a light leak to give the image a bit more color contrast. Head over to our warehouse section on our website and download the “Light Leak 2.0” pack and drag the 4th image on top of your canvas. Set this layer to screen and free transform the layer to fill the image. 

And VIOLA, You have a double exposure image! Remember that these techniques being applied to this image can be applied to ANYTHING as long as you know how to implement them correctly. It just takes a little bit of imagination and creativity.