How to create double exposure portraits in Photoshop

    How to create double exposure portraits in Photoshop

    Picasso took an unconventional approach to portrait painting. He evoked an impression of his subjects by rendering their face in profile while depicting features like the eyes and nose as if viewed from head on. We can apply this approach to portrait photography to create what are called double exposure portraits. The trick is to convert some standard shots into a creative composite that sums up our subject in an eye-catching way.

    How to create cool double exposure portraits in Photoshop

    In this tutorial we’ll demonstrate how to use Photoshop’s tools to combine both a face-on and profile view of a subject in a single image so that we can summon up more about their identity than we could in a conventional portrait.

    We’ll kick off by cropping the start images to make the subject’s key features look more prominent in the frame and then add them to a layered document.

    You’ll then use Selection tools to remove unwanted background details before converting the selections into masks.

    No selection is initially perfect, so we’ll demonstrate how to apply brush strokes to the Layer Masks to hide or reveal particular facial features.

    We’ll also demonstrate how to use fill layers to add simplified washes of colour to the shot’s shadows and highlights to help push the end result in a more artistic direction.

    How to create cool double exposure portraits in Photoshop - Before image          How to create cool double exposure portraits in Photoshop - Before image

    Step-by-step how to make double exposure portraits

    How to create cool double exposure portraits in Photoshop - step 1

    01  CROP THE FACE
    Open your face-on portrait. Grab the Crop tool. Set it to Original Ratio. Drag a corner handle to crop out the edges of the frame and zoom in on the subject. Drag outside the crop box to rotate the shot by 12 degrees. Drag inside the box to position the face as shown. Hit Enter.

     

    How to create cool double exposure portraits in Photoshop - step 2

    02 REMOVE BACKGROUND
    Grab the Quick Selection tool. Spray over the beige background on the right to select it. Choose Select>Inverse. Click the Refine Edge option. Spray the Refine Radius tool over the spiky hairs to add them to the selection. Set Output to Layer Mask. Click OK.

     

    How to create cool double exposure portraits in Photoshop - step 3

    03 ADD NEW PORTRAIT
    Open your profile portrait. Choose Select>All and then Edit>Copy. Edit>Paste the shot into the main project. Set the pasted layer’s Blend Mode to Multiply. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T to activate the Free Transform tool. Rotate, scale and position the layer so key features overlap.

     

    How to create cool double exposure portraits in Photoshop - step 4

    04 ADD A LAYER MASK
    Cmd/Ctrl click on the ‘Layer 0’ mask to reactivate the selection. Click on ‘Layer 1’. Click the Add layer mask icon. Restore the ‘Layer 1’ Blend Mode to Normal. Click on the ‘Layer 1’ thumbnail. Use the Quick Selection tool to select the beige background. Click on the ‘Layer 1’ mask. Choose Edit>Fill. Set Contents to Black. Click OK.

     

    How to create cool double exposure portraits in Photoshop - step 5

    05 EDIT THE MASK
    Click on ‘Layer 0’ mask and fill the selection with black. Press Cmd/Ctrl+D to deselect the marquee. Set ‘Layer 1’ Blend Mode back to Multiply. Grab the Brush tool. Paint a black brush on the Layer Masks to remove any areas that aren’t overlapping. Reduce the Opacity to 50% and spray on the top layer’s eye.

     

    How to create cool double exposure portraits in Photoshop - step 6

    06 COLOUR THE IMAGE
    Click the Create new fill icon and choose Solid Color. Choose white and place the layer at the bottom of the stack. Add a Black & White Adjustment Layer. Use the High Contrast Red Filter preset. Set the Foreground colour to purple and background to orange. Add a Gradient Map and use the Foreground to Background preset.

    Photoshop Tip
    To give your surreal portrait more contrast, choose Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves. Place the Curves Adjustment Layer above the two image layers. You can start off by experimenting with Preset adjustments like Strong Contrast.

    Alternatively, click to place a point near the bottom of the curve and drag downwards to create darker shadows. Place another point nearer the top and drag upwards to brighten the highlights. This will create an S-shaped curve.

    This entry was posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2012 at 8:00 am and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    Tags: , ,

    | Tutorials | 03/08/2012 08:00am
    No Comments

    Share This Page

    Practical Photoshop Cover

    Practical Photoshop is the world's biggest and best creative Photoshop magazine, packed with tutorials, tips and video training.

    sssss