I’ve gotten a few questions asking how to do the ‘double exposure’ effect I used in this photoset. It’s super easy, and can literally be done in under ten layers, depending on how elaborate you want to be.
To start off with, double exposure is one of my favorite photography and film tricks. If you’ve never seen it done, check out a lot of gorgeous examples here and be inspired. One of my favorite ways of using double exposure is taking a portrait and overlaying it with trees, so I wanted to do that for my Doctor Who artwork.
Click the read more for the tutorial. :)
There are really two main types of double exposure effects, and with this one it’s important you use a light background. Either do this by cutting out your subject and placing them onto a light background (I usually use a very light, almost white gray so there’s still ‘leftovers’ from your overlay image), or choose a cap or image that already has a light, minimal background. This kind of double exposure uses light images with dark highlights set to screen over your main subject, so your main subject is sort of used as a backdrop for the overly image. The other kind(s) of double exposure effects are achieved using different layer properties, like multiply or soft light. Play around with them yourself and see what you come up with using various overlay images.
Firstly, I took a screen cap of Amy from Asylum of the Daleks and resized it, erased the background using the pen tool (I have a tutorial on how to do so here). Since it was already a pretty light background, it was super easy to extract her outline.
As you can see, there’s park of a Dalek in front of her in the cap, so I used a light gray, soft brush to fade it out.
Not too bad, right? For this double exposure to work, we’re going to want to make her a bit darker so she stands out more from the light background. You can download the PSD at the end of this tutorial for a more detailed look into how I darkened her using curves, and then used color balance to take out the yellows from the image.
There. We’re all set to add the trees! I don’t remember where I got this photo from, unfortunately. Probably just google images or flickr via a creative commons license (stock image). But I’ve uploaded it for you here.
I copy and pasted the trees onto Amy, set to screen, resized it using the free transform tool (ctrl+t), and then erased a little bit over her face with a soft brush on low opacity. We’re almost finished. Now all that’s missing is a bit of coloring to make the image pop. Again, you can see how I colored it by downloading the PSD at the end.
After I colored the image a bit, I copy merged (select all -> shift+ctrl+c) and pasted the final image on top. Applying a smart sharpen, I lowered the opacity and erased bits of the image that I didn’t want sharpened.
I’ve included the PSD for Eleven’s double exposure, too, but it’s basically the same thing except there’s a black and white gradient involved and no color editing.
I hope this helps. Any questions, please let me know. This is such a beautiful effect when achieved correctly!