Multiple Exposure Effect Photoshop – Create Stunning Images With Ease

camera, plantYou may have seen an interesting effect of two or more overlapping photos in magazines, advertisements and on music album covers. When you work with multiple photos to create something unique, a multiple exposure effect is the way. It is essentially a combination of two or more exposures to create one image.

The multiple exposure effect is created by photographers using their camera to combine multiple photographs resulting in an abstract and surreal image. It is possible to recreate a similar effect with the help of modern software as well. Photoshop has a Multiple Exposure Effect that lets you create a wonderful effect with your image in seconds.

Here is a step by step tutorial to help you create stunning images with the multiple exposure effect in Photoshop.

Preparing the Main Photo
To kick start your creativity using the multiple exposure effect in Photoshop, try playing with contrasting or opposing concepts. To get started, open your first image. This will be the base image on which you will compose the other images.

When you open the image, it is a background layer that is locked. Next, duplicate the image by selecting ‘Duplicate Layer’ option from the Layer menu. You can click and drag the image to the ‘Create New Layer’ button on the Layers panel. After doing this, you have two identical images on top of one another, in two layers.

Adding the Second Image
The next step is to drag and drop the second photo on the canvas. Drag-drop is a better option to copy-paste because this way it is added as a smart object and can be made smaller or bigger any number of times without loss of quality.

Click on OK to add the photo as a layer. It will be dropped on the top by default. Now, click on the layer you just added, containing the second image and drag it in such a way that it lies between the two already existing layers. At this time, you see the first image while the other is hidden.

Adjusting the Blend Mode
Click on the top layer which is the copy of your background. Now, go to the Layer panel and open the drop-down menu containing the Blending options. Click on ‘Screen Mode’ to see the mixture of two photos.

Remember that the result can change to a great extent on the basis of the colors of the two images you have because Photoshop uses this to mix the images.

Adjusting to your Liking
Following these steps does not actually give the results you are looking for. To achieve the desired result, click on the layer containing the second image and alter it until you are happy. Go to Menu – Edit – Transform to change the image size.

You can use the Move tool from the Toolbox to drag it and use the Filters tool from Menu to add filters. You can also adjust the settings by adding Adjustment Layers. Play around with the tools until you get a satisfactory outcome.

Masking Unwanted Pieces
When you have decided on the ultimate image, create a layer mask on the layer by selecting Add Layer Mask option from the panel. While keeping the mask selected, use the Brush tool to paint black in the portions where you don’t want the image to show.

This works just like an eraser but prevents loss of pixels. The great thing about masks is that they hide things. In case you make a mistake, you just have to change your brush to white color and paint back.

Repeat this process with any number of photos you want to add. You can even create a blank canvas with smaller pieces by combining multiple images on the blank negative. You can achieve this by selecting Menu – File – New and setting the size and resolution for the canvas and following the above-mentioned steps.

A Trendy Twist with Multiple Exposure Effect
Adding a small twist to multiple exposures makes it trendy. You must have seen images of multiple exposures which are silhouettes with the second image inside it. You can achieve this with the same technique by just adding an additional step. Open the first image in Photoshop and duplicate your background layer once again.

Choose your background on this copy using the tool of your choice according to the image. With a white background, you can use a Magic Wand to quickly select the image. If you have a more busy background, you may need to use a Pen tool or a combination of tools.

Once you have selected the background, go to Fill option from the Edit menu and select White color. Next, drag and drop the second image as you did previously to make it a new layer. Then, drag it and place it in between the two layers. It is now completely covered and you can click on the copy of the background to select the layer and apply the ‘Screen Mode’.

Adjust the second image and create layer mask to paint the unwanted areas in black. Your multiple exposure effect image is ready. With these simple steps, you can create a stylish multiple exposure portrait with multiple images and create an interesting surreal effect.

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