Seeing Doubles: A Guide to Creating Killer Double Exposures

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Double exposures are a composite of several different images in a single frame. Before photography went digital, creating a multiple exposure image involved running a roll of film through the camera more than once, allowing two images to appear on the same square of film.

Now, thanks to digital cameras, smartphones, and photo editing software, the same effect can be achieved with a lot more creative control. Here are 8 techniques that you can easily master to create awesome double exposures. Read on to pick up some tips!

Color Your World

This technique is all about color, and it works best with images that don’t contain a lot of different colors. To achieve this effect, save your image in a series of monochrome colors and combine them into one image in a series of slightly displaced positions. Be sure to reduce the transparency of your exposures to give your image the full effect.

Turn It Upside Down

This is your go-to trick for creating epic landscape images. To do this, choose a shot (landscapes, cityscapes, or cloudscapes are all good choices), flip it upside down, overlay it onto your image, and watch as the world in your image is transformed right before your eyes.

 

Play With Portraiture

Double exposure portraits are great because they allow you to experiment with symbolism to create powerful and thought-provoking images. To create a portrait like this, you’ll need to composite at least two different images. PicsArt Photo Studio is a free photo editing app that allows you to do this very easily. You can adjust blending modes, erase unwanted parts of your added image, and apply different filters. It’s easiest to work with black and white images, as they will blend together more smoothly. Start with a portrait that has a strong shape (profile shots are great), overlay your second image, and blend them together.

 

Silhouettes

Silhouettes work beautifully in double exposures because they rely on strong compositions and make use of negative space. This opens up a world of possibilities for double exposures. To create an image like this, use your silhouette image as a stencil and overlay your second image inside the silhouetted space.

 

Use the Same Subject

This technique will give you some time-bending, mind-bending images. Shoot a series of images featuring the same subject in different positions, and combine them digitally to make it look like your subject has been cloned. Make sure all the images are shot from the same spot (a tripod will come in handy).

 

Create Ghosts

This is a classic double exposure technique, but it never gets old. By overlaying an image of a person over another image and reducing the opacity of the added image, you can give them a ghostly appearance. But this technique isn’t limited to eerie photos: a ghosted figure may invoke a sense of longing, nostalgia, or even dreams, depending on your image.

 

Mix Mediums

If a photograph is meant to reflect the real world, then double exposures allow us to create dream worlds. Combine different environments into a single image to create surreal landscapes and scenes. Mix and match different images featuring things like underwater scenes, cloudscapes, cityscapes, or landscapes, and see what sort of dream worlds you can conjure up.

 

Surrealist Faces

Take a couple of portraits with different parts of the face covered and combine them into a single image. Then, erase (or reduce the opacity of) certain parts of the image so that facial features show through. Again, this is ridiculously easy to do with PicsArt, because it allows you to edit using layers. Just open your two images in different layers and used the Eraser Tool at a reduced opacity to erase the parts of your image where you want facial features to shine through. You can create an edit like this in just a few minutes!

 

And there you have it: eight easy new techniques for creating amazing multiple exposures. With PicsArt photo editor, it’s easy to replicate all of them. Get out there and try them today!

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About the author

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Houke de Kwant is a 26 year old communication & multimedia design graduate from the Netherlands and the creator of TheArtHunters (former Daily Inspiration, which was started as part of his study). He is currently working as a front-end developer at Ivaldi, an internet agency in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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