Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create a Double-Exposure Image in Photoshop

November 5, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
I’m going to show you how to create a double-exposure image from 2 photos. If you’d like to use
this image, I provided its link in my video’s description or project files. For the second
photo, you’ll get the best results if the person you choose has deep shadows on one
side like these examples that I got from It doesn’t matter if they’re color or black
and white. However, if your photo has general lighting like this one, I’ll show you how
to transition it into deep shadows. If you’d like to use this photo, I provided its link.
The first step is to create a selection around your subject. For this example, I’ll use the
Quick Selection Tool. I’ll make the tool’s size 10 pixels and drag over the subject to select it. I can click either the Refine Edge button or go to Select and Refine Edge. I did an in-depth tutorial on Refine Edge, so if you’d like to watch it, I provided that
link, as well. I’ll check Smart Radius and adjust its size to make the brush big enough
to cover the edge of the hair. I’ll output it as a New Layer and click OK. Remove all its color by pressing Ctrl + Shift + U on Windows or Cmd + Shift + U on a Mac. To adjust
its brightness and contrast, open your Levels window by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + L. Drag the white and black Input levels to the point just before where the histogram really starts
to rise and click OK. To make room for the tropical trees, make sure your subject is
positioned to one side of your document. Just press “v” to open your Move Tool and drag
it over. Make a copy of it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J. Click the “fx” icon and click “Gradient Overlay”. Change the Blend Mode to “Multiply” and click the gradient bar. Click the “Black, White” gradient and click OK. Make the Angle: minus 180 degrees and
the Scale: 40%. Then, click OK. To restore some of the brightness on her face, click the Layer mask icon to make a layer mask next to the active layer. Open your Brush Tool
and Brush Picker. We’ll adjust the size in a moment. Make the Hardness: 0% and the Opacity
and Flow: 100%. Then, press Enter or Return. To make your brush larger or smaller, press
the right or left bracket keys on your keyboard. Now, brush over your subject in areas where
you’d like to restore its original brightness. Click the bottom layer to make it active and
click the New Layer icon to make a new layer above it. We’ll fill the empty layer with white. To
do this, press Shift + F5 key at the top of your keyboard to open the Fill window. Or,
you can go to Edit and Fill. Open the fly-out menu, click White and click OK. Open the image
you’d like to blend into the person. You can use this one, but feel free to use anything
you want, as long as its bottom is relatively dark and dense and ends somewhere at its top.
Ultimately, we want the top of the image to be pure white. If you’re using image, too,
open your Dodge Tool. If your foreground color isn’t white, press “D” on your keyboard
to make your foreground and background colors black and white respectively, and then, press
“x” to invert them. Make the Range: Highlights and the Exposure: 100%. Adjust the size of
your tool and brush over the sky. To place the trees onto your subject, press “v” to
open your Move Tool and drag it up onto the tab of your subject. Without releasing your
mouse or pen, drag it down onto the image and release. We want to place the trees on top
of the person. To do this, just drag the trees layer to the top of the Layers panel. Go to Edit, Transform and “Rotate 90 degrees Clockwise”. Let’s temporarily reduce its opacity, so we
can see the subject under it. To resize and position it, open your Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. Go inside the Transform and position the trees or whatever else your image
is over your subject. You can always reposition and resize it later, if you want. Press Enter
or Return to accept it. Increase its opacity back to 100%. Click the Layer Mask icon to
make a layer mask next to the active layer. Press “B” to open your Brush Tool. Increase
your brush size a bit and brush over the left side of the trees to mask them out. To restore
back areas of the trees, press “x” to invert your foreground and background colors and
adjust the brush size if you need to.Now, brush over those areas of the trees you want
to restore back. Continue to finesse your image brushing in and restoring back areas
until the two images create a double-exposure. This is Marty from Blue Lightning
TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply Samuel Coelho June 2, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Parabéns, lindo tutorial e uma bela obra de arte.

  • Reply Mikael Svensson June 12, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks, very nice tutorials! Easy to follow

  • Reply Stony B June 14, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    having trouble using the brush tool when it comes to the last part 🙁

  • Reply Foster Adomah June 17, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    wow so simple i love it thanks Sir

  • Reply Husna Toha June 25, 2015 at 8:25 am

    this is way too cool

  • Reply Iliana Incandela June 27, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Love this!! You are awesome

  • Reply Nika Gakharia June 29, 2015 at 6:06 am

    I like your channel, 
    u'r good man

  • Reply Svend Tofte Bjørn June 29, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Oh damn

  • Reply John Rivera June 29, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Whenever I click the refine edge button in photoshop this is what happens-[email protected]/19093766159/in/dateposted-public/ As you can see from the photo I used photoshop deleted the image selection instead of placing a red background behind it like yours did. I am not sure how to fix this or why it does that. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Reply Sdkacura1 June 30, 2015 at 1:21 am

    6:26 when I try to brush out the trees it doesn't nothing -_-

  • Reply 3RD Dimensions VR July 3, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I feel sorry for any cs5.1 users, can't find range:highlights

  • Reply I Smashup July 5, 2015 at 11:25 am

    hi when the video start that come Blus Lighting TV how to do that in my video or what that kinda thing called plz help >>>>

  • Reply Kendra Siebert July 7, 2015 at 1:07 am

    How do you use the dodge tool when the background image is primarily black?

  • Reply Samuel Mathu July 12, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I am soo close from finishing it but the part where you use the brush to erase the second image is not worrking… i tried inverting the colours both ways but it still doesnt work. HELP ME PLEASE

  • Reply Jerome Dicang July 16, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    sir whats the version are u using?

  • Reply Vanessa Thornton July 17, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Hi Marty, quick question are you able to achieve the same effect using photoshop elements 9 even 13.

  • Reply My Space July 20, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Great tutorial as usual from you Marty. Photoshop at it's best.

  • Reply Mahir P July 21, 2015 at 2:09 pm


  • Reply Aman Gowalkar July 23, 2015 at 7:32 am


  • Reply Movements not Muscles July 24, 2015 at 2:28 am

    great tutorial as always but i didnt get this one and i have tried many double explosion videos and got stuck, too difficult,

  • Reply Anthony Downs July 24, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Hi, I've got to 6m15s where you click the layer mask and start brushing out the left side of the trees but when I click on the brush tool and increase the size, nothing is happening?? Any help would be appreciated on this. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Reply Hanny Firjiani July 27, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Nice! Love the way u speak its so clear and make me easy to understand! Keep it up the good work:)

  • Reply Anonymous 86 August 12, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Thanx man..I Did it !! 
    new subscriber 😀

  • Reply Melwyn Menezes August 12, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Best double exposure video i have seen so far. thanks alot 🙂

  • Reply Blue Lightning TV Photoshop August 21, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Get up to 20% off Photoshop + Lightroom! $7.99 p/month!:

  • Reply Alvaro Rodríguez August 21, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Gracias !!!

  • Reply Philip Arroyo September 5, 2015 at 6:07 am


  • Reply laura miele September 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Check out the music video I just created for Tim Victor using the same double exposure techniques! – The same processes were used in after effects using moving image to create a pretty cool effect! Check it out!

  • Reply DownUnderEvP September 22, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Ok I could not complete this tutorial I don't have a FX button that I could find I have PSE 9 I don't know why its 9

  • Reply Line carignan September 24, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Wow that was great. Thanks. Can I do this with 2 images of faces

  • Reply Tethis Nomf October 3, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    find it 🙂 thx

  • Reply Mateusz Żywicki October 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I want that lay with tress to be in color, I got picture in color but when i drag it to women it become black and white

  • Reply Hussain October 9, 2015 at 3:41 am

    please can you show double exposure in colour

  • Reply Carlos Segarra October 18, 2015 at 8:22 am

    good (Y)

  • Reply Sami October 19, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    You are the best , you let my life much easier than all of the other photoshop tutorials. Keep up the good job

  • Reply Hunt Photography October 24, 2015 at 2:29 am

    when you use the brush towards the end of the video to blend the two pics how do you get the fade effect that he has on the brush

  • Reply amxlna October 25, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Good for windows finally!!!

  • Reply Schetz - PHOTODESIGN made in HAMBURG November 1, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Great channel and stuff! 'think this is the bigger brother of the "Info Puppet" Channel… 🙂

  • Reply Ankit Bailwal November 7, 2015 at 5:23 am

    Best Tutorial ever on You Tube. Good on yeah mate. Keep it up and give us some more excellent tutorials.!!!>>>,<?///,<,.;

  • Reply Choco San Pedro December 4, 2015 at 7:15 am

    i cannot use my clipping mask +Blue Lightning TV the capslock didn't even help nothing is still working

  • Reply Marve December 7, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    My brush tool isnt working when you "brush out" the excess trees, and when you "brighten the woman's face"? Any help would be appreciated.

  • Reply Maria Van-Hein Sackey December 12, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    very descriptive video, thank you, the others were bombo….

  • Reply Cahaya Timur December 14, 2015 at 1:13 am

    thank you Marty, greeting from Indonesia

  • Reply shine key January 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Last part won't work for me … I tried a lot but my brush tool won't work

  • Reply Anna Beukema January 20, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    My brush doesn't work…. How is that possible?

  • Reply Johnny Sipp January 23, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    thank you for not having distracting music playing in the background 😉

  • Reply Sol Medina January 25, 2016 at 9:25 am

    great, very comprehensive tutorial. thank you!

  • Reply Martin Caird February 7, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Very well planned out, a pleasure to listen to. Thanks.

  • Reply Joe Ng February 16, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Very easy to follow. Thanks!

  • Reply Ishpreet Singh February 17, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    my brush wont do anything in the last part. i tried adding a layer but i didnt know what to do further

  • Reply Sebastián E February 17, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    super clear instructions. thanks a lot for the tutorial video!

  • Reply aras aezat February 26, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    well explained and worked for me , greeting from Kurdistan

  • Reply edoup March 4, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Nice Video tutorial, thanks so much for this great informative tutorial

  • Reply sara saba March 26, 2016 at 12:07 am

    THANK YOU ….. you are just amazing …… love aii your tutorials

  • Reply Pulse Hazardzz April 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    if u try shutter stock it says shutterstock on the photo

  • Reply Daisy Steel April 8, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    my brush tool will not blend out , but instead paint either black or white, any suggestions how i can fix this?

  • Reply Brian Chang M FL April 12, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    just started photoshop few days and that the best video i found to learn double exposure ,… easy to understand,… thanks a lot!!! subscribed!!

  • Reply Lisha Zheng April 12, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    excellent video!

  • Reply laura heavner April 28, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you! Your tutorials are always so easy to follow.

  • Reply Reatha Carey April 30, 2016 at 3:57 am

    Thank you for this tutorial, Very well presented to help me creat a Double-Exposure

  • Reply Ioan-Sebastian Sofiean April 30, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    what can i do if doesn't restore the trees just erase them i changed the color with X but nothing hapens please help 🙂

  • Reply gaixx qyzs May 17, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    can u show me how to combine two faces photo make it double face.. I hope u can help me.. tq

  • Reply Hexson HD May 18, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Guys at 2:20 im not finding layers down on the right side ! How can I get that ? – please help

  • Reply imed hamdi May 27, 2016 at 10:42 am

    your voice is amazing for tutorials dude really amazing 😀 😀

  • Reply Ishan43 June 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I did My First Double Exposure with the help of You!! 🙂 Thank You So Much!!

  • Reply Riska Ros June 22, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    im glad i found this video love the explanation !!

  • Reply Big-D June 26, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    what is intro music?

  • Reply Barbara Ferrini July 4, 2016 at 9:05 am

    thank you so much, I was stuck and your tutorial really helped me out

  • Reply emma lissette alvarado vasquez July 7, 2016 at 4:04 pm


  • Reply Gabriel Cardaire July 23, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Excellente et très didactique vidéo !!

  • Reply Latifah Osazee July 28, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    you are the best!

  • Reply Linda Meek Makeup July 28, 2016 at 10:08 pm


  • Reply shamindra rodrigo August 8, 2016 at 8:14 am

    this channel contains the best photoshop tutorials on youtube. Very descriptive. Keep it up…

  • Reply spyderdon1 August 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Very Detail Orientated .

  • Reply Olivia. Life September 15, 2016 at 3:17 am

    So well done. Perfect actually. Thank you!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Eder Ferreira September 21, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    oooo my godd this video helps me lot thanks for you Suporte

  • Reply Bruno Fonseca September 27, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Congratulations! I like the videos of you! I'm learning a lot. Thank you

  • Reply Miguel Ramos October 1, 2016 at 9:56 pm


  • Reply OmegaGirl2278 0 November 26, 2016 at 6:00 am

    whenever you used the brush to fade the two images together, all it did was just draw white over top of it. How can i fix that?

  • Reply DEMONIC COC January 23, 2017 at 5:00 am

    love you're videos!!!! keep it up man I can't stop watching them!

  • Reply David B January 26, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Can you apply this to Gimp as well?

  • Reply Merd Güm ! February 11, 2017 at 10:41 am

    @Blue Lightning TV Photoshop Hey. I'm having difficulties at the last part. I can clear forest image with my brush tool but its not restoring back when i reverse colors. How can i fix that?

  • Reply Richard ElDeep May 18, 2017 at 2:21 am

    You're too clear to skip a second of your videos

  • Reply Tim Sintebin June 8, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Thank you very much. It helped me a lot!

  • Reply Ariel Falero August 10, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Marti, you're the man. I am so thankful for you. You have made me such a better designer since I have been following you. Your complex, but yet so easy to do skills have evolved me very much. Here is an image I made off your tut and my imagination. You will always be a teacher. Thank you

  • Reply Tracey Mahoney September 19, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    love your tutorials they are so simple to follow not like the others . Ty

  • Reply ahmed foda October 22, 2017 at 2:33 am

    you the best , very nice

  • Reply Glenda November 5, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Your tips are the best, thanks! Glenda

  • Reply Meruu December 5, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Does anyone have any more photos like the trees? I cant find any good ones to use.

  • Reply Suryakant Pilankar December 22, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Thank You. धन्यवाद ! आभारी आहे !!

  • Reply Christopher Ivicic January 4, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    When the Student is ready the Teacher appears…
    I'm so ready and man oh man you're every bit an awesome Teacher.
    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise.

  • Reply filippo quercia April 6, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    bello grazie

  • Reply IMAMZOOH April 12, 2018 at 12:16 pm


  • Reply Réda dz April 15, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    thank you for this video very nice

  • Reply HowlBeast June 6, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    THANK YOU.. I feel engaged not bored & simple solutions & all under 10min tutorial.. keep it up

  • Reply sunil bhatt August 4, 2018 at 11:20 pm


  • Reply sunil bhatt August 5, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Thanks for stock image's link

  • Reply Maulik Pandya August 23, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Nice video

  • Reply muqaddas jamal August 25, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    thank u sir

  • Reply Thodoris Siorikis January 28, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Perfect-Τέλειο!!!!! (Greece)

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