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Tips & Tricks

How To Create a Double Exposure Image In Photoshop

By Hanssie on February 12th 2016

French photographer Boris Untereiner was first exposed to double exposures when he was ten-years-old. His father showed him some slides of images of his mother blended with landscapes or various objects. His father explained the process of how he created a double exposure and today, Boris is inspired to create images like those he saw many years ago.

Of course, in the digital age, the process of creating a double exposure is quite different from his father’s days of film. The concept is the same, but the execution is very different. It is also less expensive these days, and the options are limitless. Boris has been working on his double exposure series for three years. Here are a few of his images:


_MG_0245 _MG_8911 _MG_8940b


The process, Boris explains, is done in Photoshop and only takes a few steps.



First, Boris takes a picture of his model, making sure the light has clearly defined light and dark areas. “A flat light would lessen the effect,” he says. He lights the background using a flash so that it is completely white.


In Photoshop, Boris changes the image to black and white and adds contrast while keeping a range of gray tones on the model. He does this with the Nik Software Silver EFX plugin. He will then add a bit of noise for texture.


This next step is “where the magic begins,” according to Boris. He imports the second image onto a new layer on top of the first image.


He then changes the blending mode of the second image layer to “screen” and adds a layer mask to the second image. He paints the parts in the picture he doesn’t want the effect to appear with a black brush.



Next, Boris adds a levels adjustment layer and creates a clipping mask between this layer and the adjustment layer of the second image. He uses the white picker tool and clicks on the “yellowish area of the second image” to indicate the colors are white.


Finally, Boris concentrates on the details. He will slightly warm the medium and dark tones with a photo filter layer and will complete the image on a final layer where he fixes any remaining issues with the spot healing brush and clone stamp.

Final Image



You can see more of Boris Untereiner’s work on his website here.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    I did one double exposure that was accidental, but turned out pretty nice. July 2013, I bought a used Canon F-1N; I brought it into work and was passing the camera to a coworker when I heard the shutter fire. That weekend, I went to the lake and took a photo. The resulting image looks like Emily is rising from the lake.

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  2. Donatas Vaiciulis

    Thanks for good article!

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  3. Paul Empson

    I’ve been noticing this style of image much more recently and was thinking.. I’ll be seeing a lot more of it soon :-D I can imagine brides wanting it as the next new, old thing..

    I like the presentation of the images shown..

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    • Justin Haugen

      there’s already been quite a lot of it in the wedding world. lots of bouquets + bridal protrait mashups. I like them a lo when they are done well

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