double exposure photoshop tutorial

Double Exposure – Camera vs Photoshop

What's The Difference?

In photography terms this effect is known as a "multiple exposure" or the process used to combine two separate images together to create one image, this will be referred to as analogue. In Photoshop the same effect can be achieved by manually combining two separate images together using layer masking & level adjustments. This is known as a "double exposure" and will be referred to as digital.

multiple exposure nikon d7000
multiple exposure nikon d7000

Camera: Nikon D7000

Images: Chris Melton

As you can see from these shots, you don't need to have a studio full of expensive equipment to achieve stunning results.

 

multiple exposure nikon d7000

Analogue

The way a camera creates a multiple exposure is simply multiple "shutters" of the camera shutter, this creates more than one exposure then the camera works its magic and produces a beautiful multiple exposure. Not all cameras can achieve this effect but some of the models which can are;  Pretty much all Nikon DSLRs, Fujifilms  X Pro1 and X100 range and Canon - EOS 5D Mark 3, 1D X, and 70D.

Myself as a Photoshop enthusiast, graphic & web designer, not to mention an under developed photographer (no pun intended) found that sometimes you can be quite limited with the range of effects a camera can offer. For a point and shoot professional who needs stunning results quickly then i would say that doing things "in camera" is the best way. If a camera creates the exposure the same way and you show that to 100 different clients who all don't know each other then range of exposure effects doesn't matter.

Images: Skandy Tutorials

I created these images in around 15 minutes, have a look at the tutorial i made below to see how easy it is.

 

multiple exposure nikon d7000
multiple exposure nikon d7000
multiple exposure nikon d7000

Digital

With the range of effects Photoshop has to offer there comes a consequence, time. Without knowledge of layers, layer masking, adjustment layers levels & curves Photoshop would be no more use than scribbling lines in paint then using the paint bucket tool to fill them with different colors. Surely i am not the only one that used to do this? For me i prefer to play around with images and have full control hence why i would always be bias towards Photoshop. You can produce 100 different double exposures using the same two images and even if you tried to replicate the last exposure, chances are it would come out differently.

You need a camera in the first place though and to be fair Photoshop is not the best program for working with low resolution images so the fundamentals of a good camera are always a main factor. In conclusion, have fun play around with the two. Photoshop will always be the cheaper option and a great place to practice and hone your skills.

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