Tutorial Tuesday:: Double Exposure in Photoshop

I've been itching to play around with double exposures for some time now after seeing several intriguing images on pinterest.  While waiting on a client on location a week ago, I spotted a fantasic old Chrysler just begging to be photographed.  I took tons of shots from every angle possible, but I thought these two seemed to want to be married in a double exposure.

I loved this angle of the hood ornament.  Something about it just screamed for a rich, high contrast edit.  I got this effect by using a sharpening brush on the bird, then I created a new layer.  On the new layer, I ran a high pass filter, then applied it with a hard mix blending mode.  I was really in love with the effect, and I don't think I lowered the opacity much.  Lastly, I flattened & saved.

Here's my second image...a little more traditional editing.  The car was coated in a thick layer of pollen, and I wanted to bring that out.  I opened another layer and ran a high pass filter, this time using a soft light blending mode.  I also ran a sharpening action to the entire photo, leaving it at 100% opacity to bring out the sharp details in the lights and bumpers.  I used a black and white action to convert the image to black and white...I reduced the opacity on the desaturate layer a tad so that some of the greens of the car's paint and grass would subtly bleed through.  Finally, I flattened and saved.

Now for the double exposure:
I opened both images.  I wanted the hood ornament shot for my background, so I went to the front end photo, clicked CTRL + A to select the photo, then CTRL + C to copy the photo.  I then went back to the ornament photo and clicked Edit, Paste to paste the front end on top of the ornament.  This created a new adjustment layer.  I lowered the opacity to about 10%.  While the front end layer was selected, I created a layer mask and used a black brush to brush off the ghosted image of the front end from the bird and hood of the background image.  When I was happy with the image, I flattened and saved.

I seriously love this piece of art!  I'm going to print it and present it as a gift to the owner of the body shop who lets me use his property for my photo sessions!  This car is his, and he loves it.  I think this gives it a new life!

Tutorial Tuesday


  1. Very cool and I think the technique works brilliantly for these images. Great job!

  2. That's going to make a wonderful gift! Very nice result for two images that are perfect together.

  3. Was so glad to see your comment on my post today. It has been a long time.
    I saw this technique on Ashley's blog the other day. Photoshop and layers haven't become my friend yet. :)
    This is extraordinary! I love it.
    I scrolled down your page. Wow, Wyatt is growing up. He is still as cute as ever!

  4. Your blog came up third on a google search for double exposure and photoshop. I'm an amateur intermediate level photographer and I'm impressed with your tutorial. Thanks for your clear instructions, I will try to check back from time to time and follow other tutorials.


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