How to Create Your First Double Exposure Photography: A Beginner's Guide

Summary: In this post, we briefly introduced double exposure photography, how to create a double exposure image in traditional way, in photoshop and in Fotor's free online double exposure photo maker. Hope it will help you in case you want to create your own double exposure photography!

a double exposure image of a couple and their shadow

The technology of creating double exposure photography has been existed since the beginning of film photography. Moreover, due to its ability to combine the elements of two photos, double exposure photos are widely popular in the photography area and on social platforms. So here comes the question:

What is Double Exposure Photography?

a double exposure image of a man

Double exposure is a photo created by superimposing two different images. The superimposed image is not completely transparent, so the features of the two images can be seen in the same photo. The double exposure photography isn't very hard to get and you don't even need a double exposure camera.

Traditionally, lithographers expose the same plate twice to create a double image. But modern technology creates various photo software or photo editing tools which allow you to create double-exposed images without having to rely on a camera.

You can turn ordinary photos into stunning masterpieces by creating double exposure photography. In this tutorial, I'll guide you to create your first double exposure photography in three ways:

How to Create Double Exposure Photography in Traditional Way?

double exposure image with woman and town

Traditional double exposure photos are created in the camera. Instead of advancing the photo directly to the next frame, the exposure image is processed through multiple exposures to create a superimposed appearance.And there are other ways to do it that will give you the same result.

With double exposure, the layers of color and texture that come together, which is much more meaningful than shooting the picture alone. But when use the camera, you have to take the light, the color and the shadow into consideration and blend together to make a new image.As a result, the popularity of double-exposure photographs among the general public is not high.

How to Create Double Exposure Photography in Photoshop?

make a double exposure image of a woman in photoshop

Before your photo editing, you need to decide the background and the foreground of your double exposure image. Choose a background portrait photo that is single clean color and neutral tone without many distractions such as buildings, trees, cars, lights, etc. It should have high contrast and clean edges that will make it easy to select layer masks and overlay photos.

The foreground can be anything you want to cover. The most common themes are architecture, forests (especially pine forests), clouds, and mountains. The following are the steps to do:

1. Open the background image in photoshop and duplicate a layer(Ctrl+J), and hide the layer. You can make adjustments such as increasing contrast, refining edges, and desaturating the photo to make it easier to work with.

2. Remove background and create a layer mask. Click the magic wand tool and click the background. Click Layer-Layer Mask-Reveal Selection. Press Add Vector Layer mask shortcut bottom. And then click on layer mask and press Alt. It will highlight the selected area.

3. Click File-Place and select another image. Press Ctrl+C and click on the layer mask of the background subject. Click on the create layer mask button at the bottom.

4. Increase the opacity of the layer to 70% and use the brush tool with foreground color and layer mask selected to darken them. Use the white brush to reveal the area of the mask. Then, unhide the duplicate layer. And your final image now is created! You can also follow the video below!

Using Photoshop to double exposure image is a little difficult for beginner, because it is a very professional photo editing software, covering the vast majority of photo editing problems, especially it needs to pay a lot of time to prepare and learn the photo editing skills. Here, I'm going to share a simpler online photo editor for making double exposure photos: Fotor's Free Online Double Exposure Photography Maker.

How to Create Double Exposure Photography in Fotor?

Fotor web tool


Powerful AI-driven editing tools like background remover, AI enlarger, object remover, one-tab skin retouch, AI art effects, etc.

Over 100,000+ ready-to-use templates and creative content for graphic design and photo collages.

Millions of HD stock photos for personal and commercial use.

Start Editing

Fotor's double exposure photography maker is super easy to get the perfect double image without any photo editing skills. Based on the powerful AI technology of Fotor, it automatically removes background of your back and fore images and then creates the final double exposure image. Here's step-by-step teaching:

  1. Click the "Double Exposure", and upload your photos to the cloud.
  2. Select a photo in the cloud and it will immediately appear on the canvas. Adjust the parameters of the photo, such as brightness, and exposure, and choose a suitable filter for it.
  3. Drag another photo from the cloud onto the photo on the canvas, and the two photos will overlap.
  4. Select the top photo and move the photo to the right position. Adjust the transparency, and exposure of the photo, add filters to the photo, etc.
  5. Now, your double exposure photography is finished.
make a double exposure image of a woman in fotor


Double exposure photo hosts more than just the content of the two pictures, and it showcases the feelings and thought of the designer. Learning how to create a double exposure photo allows you to improve art appreciation and the quality of your image works.

The tutorial introduced the basic information of double exposure and the method of making in traditional way, in Photoshop, As well as recommended Fotor's online free double exposure photo maker which is easier. Hope this post can bring you some ideas for your design.