Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Quickly Create Awesome, Photographic, Double-Exposure Portraits

October 18, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
I’m going to show you how to quickly create a stunning, photographic, double-exposure portrait. Open a photo of someone that you’d like to use for this project. If you want to crop
your photo, open your Rectangular Marquee Tool and drag it over your subject. Go to Image and Crop. To deselect it, press Ctrl or Cmd + D. To fit your photo back onto the
canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. Next we’ll create a selection around your subject in
order to separate it from its background. There are many ways to do this and I covered
them in many of my tutorials. Since this photo has a white background, I’ll use the Magic
Wand Tool. If you’re using this tool as well, check “Contiguous” and make its “Tolerance”
approximately 30. Click on a white area outside your subject to make a selection of that area.
Go to another white area and Shift-click on it to add that selection, as well. To check
your selection, press “Q” to see it as a Quick Mask. It you’re happy with it, press “Q” again
to revert it back into a selection. Then, invert the selection by pressing Ctrl or Cmd
+ Shift + I. Click the Layer Mask icon to make a layer mask of the selection. Ctrl-click
or Cmd-click on the New Layer icon to make a new layer below the active layer. We’ll
fill the empty layer with white, but first, if your foreground and background colors aren’t
black and white respectively, press “D” on your keyboard. Since white is your background
color, press Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. Click the thumbnail of your subject to make it active
and click the Adjustment Layer icon. Click “Black White”. Open the Preset fly-out list
and click “High Contrast Blue Filter”. Click back on the Adjustment Layer icon and this
time, click Levels. In the Input white field, I’ll type in 142. Drag the Levels adjustment
layer below the Black & White layer. Make the white layer active. Open your other photo
that we’ll use to create the double-exposure. To place it into your subject’s document,
press Ctrl or Cmd + A to select it all and Ctrl or Cmd + C to copy it. Open your other
document and press Ctrl or Cmd + V to paste it in. Drag your subject’s layer mask next
to the other photo. Make your subject active and change its Blend Mode to “Overlay”. If you want to reposition the image inside your subject, click off the chain-link icon. This
unlinks the photo and the layer mask, which allows us to resize and reposition the layer
and the layer mask independently of each other. Make the photo active and open your Transform
Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. If your photo is larger that your subject, press Ctrl
or Cmd + 0 to see the Transform’s entire bounding box. To re-position it, go inside the Transform
and drag it. To resize your inside image, go to a corner and when you see a diagonal,
double-arrow, press and hold Shift as you drag the Transform in or out. To accept it,
click the check-mark at the top. Then, fit your document back onto the canvas. If you
want to lighten some dark areas, invert your foreground and background colors by clicking
this icon or by pressing “x” on your keyboard. Open your Dodge Tool and click Shadows for
the Range. The Exposure is 100% and make sure “Protect Tones” is checked. Open the Brush
Picker. We’ll take of the size in a moment. Make the Hardness: 0% and press Enter or Return.
To make your Dodge tool smaller or bigger, press the left or right bracket key on your
keyboard. Brush over dark areas you’d like to lighten. Conversely, if you want to darken
some light areas, invert your colors and open your Burn Tool. This time, click “Midtones”
or “Highlights”. I’ll reduce the exposure to 25% and brush over those areas. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply Jatin N November 20, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Blue lightning TV, what size should I make my images in photoshop (in pixels) and what resolution (pixels per inch) if i wanted to commercially sell my images on t shirts or as large prints? Thank you.

  • Reply Aryan Parikh November 20, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    I love your tutorial, you are actually better than some of the authors at Digital Tutors. Respect.

  • Reply Ravi Kalsy November 20, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Great work and making it simple to follow make this even better thanks 😀

  • Reply EagleEyes Vladimir November 21, 2016 at 12:28 am

    very informative sir, thank you very much

  • Reply Lucky Hand November 23, 2016 at 5:28 am

    thank you for Photoshop Tutorial
    Like and Subcribed

  • Reply Isaac Ahmed November 23, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Possible give designed by Picture

  • Reply Halle Gatson December 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I don't have high contrast blue filter, how do I get it?

  • Reply Leo Froes December 5, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Evertyhing was going ok until 3:50, nothing happens when I click overlay and I can't get the background overlayed in my image. Help?

  • Reply Joe Sheridan December 16, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    How do change it from black and white, to colour please? Thanks.

  • Reply carlo mov December 20, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    honestly you are a great teacher and you have a good command.. i love following your tutorials especially video. thank you

  • Reply Cemil Erkoc December 24, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    perfect, many thanks! clear instructions to follow!

  • Reply MADYLONG December 25, 2016 at 6:04 am

    You are the Best

  • Reply January 6, 2017 at 4:08 am

    How do you deselect areas that should not be removed? The "deselect" option does not work. It deselects everything.

  • Reply January 6, 2017 at 4:17 am

    Black/White is GREYED OUT. :o(

  • Reply Losing Soul January 7, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Finally a voice that I can actually understand. Thank you.

  • Reply Reachie Rou January 8, 2017 at 10:35 am

    why i can't layer mask ? any help

  • Reply Portside Foto January 11, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    One of the very best tutorials ive seen on here. Clear, not at all rushed and really simple… even i could do it !

  • Reply Gorson January 27, 2017 at 3:42 am

    question here ,when I put my photo to layer 1,it automatically generate a new layer,how can I combine them together?

  • Reply Borislav Bačić January 28, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    How do i change the background image opacity without messing with the brightness?

  • Reply Ady Banner February 5, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Absolutely fantastic tutorial, helped me do my first ever double exposure portrait. Thank you.

  • Reply Line carignan February 8, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Everything went well until the end it did not work just c the branches

  • Reply Kamal Auto Nikhar February 16, 2017 at 7:44 am

    nobody can teach like blue lighting tv .. really very useful tutorial and easy way

  • Reply Sebastian Slinger February 21, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you Blue Lightning TV helped me alot

  • Reply Sebastian Slinger February 21, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    You are the best

  • Reply Laur Adryan February 25, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    You got a new subscrber, thanks man.

  • Reply Charles Martin March 1, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Ive watched almost all the double exposure videos on YouTube and this is the best one. Thanks for NO BACKGROUND MUSIC AND EXPLAINING IN A LANGUAGE I UNDERSTAND! Ilearned a lot and made a great photo.
    Great job🖒

  • Reply Musicapast 1 March 14, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    how to active layer mask?

  • Reply rabia kara March 15, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Who is the model?

  • Reply Pras Setiya March 21, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Two thumbs up for you

  • Reply Fanny Marcela Romero Ebratt April 6, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Love you. You make it so easy. !!!!! I tryed with another videos an did not understand what happened. Thanks 🙂

  • Reply Mark Robbins April 10, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    I have watched quite a few tutorials. Most seem not to understand that playing music and not talking through the tutorial is not a good way to teach. Others, talk, but talk fast and move from one action to another that make it hard to see what they just did. A few, talk slow enough to follow, but always seem to assume that the viewers know more than they do. I was very impressed with this tutorial and would suggest that perhaps you can make a tutorial on how to make tutorials for all the other PS experts who don't know how to teach as well as you do?? Kudos!

  • Reply Jeffrey Bogue-collis April 24, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Fantastic Tutorial yet again? Thanks.

  • Reply AJ Ventura April 26, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I dont know why I did I generic search for this without coming to you first. Your tutorials are always the easiest, most concise, and you actually talk where others just have text on the screen.

  • Reply kariuki waite April 26, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    amazingly informative
    perfect tutorial

  • Reply Everyday Superman April 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Can this work in color or do you have to use black and white. Thanks so much for great tutorials

  • Reply JR Juan Rodríguez May 3, 2017 at 2:23 am


  • Reply Red Ghost May 4, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    I'm new to photoshop. I have to say You are the greatest photoshop teacher in the world without a doubt! Thank you for spending your time. 🙂

  • Reply Matteo Falque May 12, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    bonjour, serait-il possible d'avoir fini ?

  • Reply West Country Galleries Limited May 15, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    One hell of a good tutorial – THANK YOU

  • Reply Karolina Kazana May 18, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Love Your Tutorials 🙂

  • Reply Dario Gligoric May 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    You are awesome i learn lots of stuff… Keep that way, perfect!!!

  • Reply R Makouei May 26, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Amazing,thank you very much,you are the best,god bless

  • Reply Searching 4 Simplicity June 3, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Great tutorial! I am new to Photoshop and it is so hard to understand some tutorials out there. You really take it step by step. Thank you!

  • Reply Saksham Mehrotra June 22, 2017 at 1:51 am

    Will this work in photoshop cs6?

  • Reply Hari Kumar July 8, 2017 at 7:47 am

    superb tutorial 😊😊😊

  • Reply Andrew Burns July 10, 2017 at 8:57 am

    My boy Martyyyyyyyyy!

  • Reply Bader Jameel July 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    شكرا جزيلا مارتي

  • Reply Kiran kumar G V July 15, 2017 at 6:25 am

    awesome tutorial ….made it so simple for me thank you

  • Reply Crossed Bones July 20, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    When I do step 1:50 my actual picture becomes transparent…

  • Reply Athay Lay July 25, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you so much

  • Reply Just Bruce July 28, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Awesome – Thx Marty

  • Reply Clive Noonan August 4, 2017 at 1:22 am

    My background is white, but it's not filling with white after the shortcut command, its just staying transparent can someone help.

  • Reply Esmaeil tanha August 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you so much

  • Reply Sophie Cowan September 28, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I love you Marty!

  • Reply Vega Bond October 1, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Awesome Tutorial Sir!!!!

  • Reply Si Mo October 2, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Thank Youuu Boss u r The Best Ever

  • Reply Brian Quiñones November 10, 2017 at 8:27 am

    HI Marty, Im one your fan. Can you create a cinemagraph in Photoshop? Plss.

  • Reply ῥὗвłἷƈ ƈђᾄᾗᾗἔł November 16, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Great design thank you

  • Reply Fizzypop109 November 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I dont have any preset filters? Just default and custom. Anyone know how to fix this?

  • Reply ronn vandenhoogen November 21, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Marty THANKS! ; )

  • Reply AJ Sharf December 9, 2017 at 3:27 am

    The best tutor so far, keep it up Marthy.

  • Reply Ananda Bliss December 15, 2017 at 7:11 am

    THE BEST TEACHER (tutor) in the whole youtube universe!

  • Reply Amar Skullomania December 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    you are a genious..i'm happy to be one of your subscriber..thank you so much..

  • Reply Sharing The Gospel January 24, 2018 at 5:14 am

    Good explaining & Best Tutorial… Thank you very much

  • Reply Matt Gardiner February 19, 2018 at 11:18 pm


  • Reply Mohammad Dilnavaj February 20, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Can I make this effect in cs5 also

  • Reply Muted Game Tutor February 23, 2018 at 12:06 am

    I am clicking on your ads to help you

  • Reply Alexander Rock March 2, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Love these tutorials! 👍🏽

  • Reply Peerawich Sinamornwech March 5, 2018 at 7:43 am

    next time please put like soft quiet music in the background, trust me it'll help the silence

  • Reply Nicholas Factor March 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    your tutorials are great! thanks so much for always giving the keyboard shortcuts instead of clicking everywhere through menus <3

  • Reply happy goddess March 14, 2018 at 12:54 am

    Helped me so much!!! Thank You!!

  • Reply ReyCuban Tv March 24, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Thank you for this! never use this before and i was able to make it work..

  • Reply Bal Gehakt March 31, 2018 at 8:05 am

    You make the best Photoshop tutorials on Youtube, thank you!

  • Reply R1yz3n k April 2, 2018 at 2:03 am

    The quality of my photos when i cut them are kinda bad comparing.. where are the problems?

  • Reply OGDC April 25, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    This was amazing. I’m going to Adobe cc today

  • Reply Sea Raven May 20, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Hey Marty, my background photo appears in separate new layer when pasted even when the "white" layer is selected to be active and I can't find way around it, any ideas? Thank you.

  • Reply AL May 20, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    Hi my end product still has a very defined outline and inside of the person's portrait instead of the tree effect, any ideas whats wrong?

  • Reply AkatsukiiiPH TV June 7, 2018 at 5:02 am

    In Presets of Black & White i only have default and custom.I'm using CC version any idea how to find or load high contrast blue filter?

  • Reply harish kumar June 23, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Wow i completed my lesson thank u…. So much…

  • Reply tirof tiaw June 30, 2018 at 12:11 am

    The best

  • Reply sahand gholian July 5, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    it's beautoful

  • Reply Neringa olbutaitė July 31, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    is so easy easy when you explained, thank you for this lesson

  • Reply Troy Griffin August 6, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Thanks.. Well explained and easy to follow! Best photoshop tutorial I've ever watched.

  • Reply ramfis almanzar August 23, 2018 at 12:02 am

    the best video that evisto

  • Reply Mael Berry September 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm


  • Reply clayton tansley September 17, 2018 at 5:47 am

    Thanks Marty, really love your tutorials!

  • Reply kishan kushwaha September 23, 2018 at 5:46 am

    The only major defects in this channel is whatever the photos is used in any video by this channel belongs to website where I have to create a account and then I have to choose a plan for that, what in the world will first create a account for photos and then choose a plan, just for a photo.

  • Reply Waad Farjo October 4, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks Marty .could you please make a video about coloured double exposure photos

  • Reply Vidushi Agarwal October 21, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    really helpful…loved it.. thank you

  • Reply barb baker October 30, 2018 at 8:25 am

    I'm new to Photoshop and loving it. I've watched loads of youtube videos on different aspects of Photoshop and this is one of the best I've seen. Explains everything really well and though I'm a novice I feel I could follow this and duplicate the effect. The pace of the tutorial is perfect. Superb, thanks so much.

  • Reply riderofunicon November 7, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    woow u made this so easy, lovely voice

  • Reply Sasa Cvetković November 20, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Man you are awesome!

  • Reply Adobe Tutorial November 29, 2018 at 2:35 pm


  • Reply Happy Journey December 11, 2018 at 3:38 am

    How to download free Photoshop

  • Reply come back December 20, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Thank you senior Marty

  • Reply Eric Saffa January 28, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    I like the tutorials so much

  • Reply Roy Manfredi February 13, 2019 at 4:53 am

    03:50… that does not do that…

  • Reply Thodoris Siorikis March 25, 2019 at 11:03 pm


  • Reply guy fostik May 22, 2019 at 3:02 pm


  • Reply Luka Animations June 15, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    That was a dope tutorial, I'm definitely trying it out. Thanks!!

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