In this Photoshop tutorial, we’ll start by cutting out our model using Select and Mask to create a complex mask and then we’ll double up our tree texture and use masks and blend mode to set the double exposure effect and then we’ll use a combination of mid-tone sharpening, lens flares, and color effects to pull the double exposure effect together and get a great final result. This is an effect that should work on any object or person! Mask, Overlay, Color Correct, Blend, Sharpen, Flare, Color Grade and finish! That’s the process we’ll use in this tutorial.
Cut Out the Subject With Quick Mask + Select and Mask
Grab the Quick Selection tool and drag a selection out over the subject that we’re using to create this double exposure.
Once you have a rough selection of the subject, go Select>Select and Mask and use the Refine Edge Brush tool to clean up any bits of hair and assorted edges that need refinement.
Also, use the Brush tool to add or subtract from the overall selection if needed. Choose to output this to a new layer with layer mask. Once you have this new layer, right-click on it and choose “Convert to Smart Object.”
Once you have this new layer, right-click on it and choose “Convert to Smart Object.”
Making the White Edges is Essential!
As you work your way through the video, you’ll see me bring the tree texture into the double exposure to create the effect, but an essential part of creating this effect whether you’re using trees, buildings, rocks, flowers, or anything, is that the sky or background of the image is blown out white.
We will convert our trees image to a Smart Object and then go Image>Adjustments>Levels and set the white slider to 225 and the middle gray slider to 0.90 and I also went Image>Adjustments>Selective Color and added some yellow to the Midtones and Blacks and I also removed some of the
This step is more about creating the look with the trees that you like, but still, make sure you convert the sky to solid white. Set the trees layer to the Blend Mode: Multiply. This will drop all the white away and leave the good tree stuff.
Blending and Masking the Tree Double Exposure
Drag the trees layer beneath the model and set the model layer to the Blend Mode: Screen and Cmd/Ctrl + click on the layer thumbnail for our model to load the model as a selection and click on the trees layer and then go Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection to mask the trees into our model.
Next, click on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel and grab the Brush tool and right-click anywhere and choose a large, soft-edged brush tip and set your foreground color to white and paint on this mask to extend the trees beyond the edges of the model wherever you want the double exposure to be.
We can also add a layer mask to the model layer and paint away edges of the model to blend the tree image with the subject of the photo until you get a double exposure that you just love. Make sure you watch the full 20-minute video at the top of this post to get a really good idea of how to create every aspect of this effect and learn so much about Photoshop in the process!
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