photoshop creative

6 steps to a double exposure effect in Elements

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
October 9, 2014

Add movement to subjects and double up on exposure with these techniques in Elements

1. Radial Blur

Duplicate the Background layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) straight after your image in Elements. Head to the Filter manu and down to Blur>Radial Blur, then set Method to Zoom and Amount to 10.

2. Layer mask

Add a mask by clicking the Add Layer Mask button in the Layers panel. Select the Brush tool (B) set the brush size to 700px. Set the Foreground colour to black and paint over the faces and central parts of your image to bring back the focus.

3. Boost contrast

Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer and add the Levels adjustment. Increase contrast by sliding both the black and white markers on each end enwards. The adjustment layer comes with its own mask for customising the with the Brush tool if needed.

4. Double up

Load up your second image by going to File>Open. When it’s loaded, head to Select>All and then Edit>Copy. Turn to the first image by double-clicking on its picture in the Photo Bin (called Project Bin in Photoshop Elements versions 10 or earlier) and then head to Edit>Paste to insert the new image into the first.

5. Blend layers

Press Cmd/Ctrl+T to activate Free Transform. Use the corner boxes around the second image to resize it so it fits over the first. Change the blend mode of the second image’s layer to Lighten from inside the Layers panel. This is set to Normal for every layer by default, but changing the blend mode creates different effects.

6. Customise effect

Details can be removed by adding a layer mask to this second image. As with the first image, use the Brush tool to hide areas of the second image that are covering up the subjects in the first image. This will depend on the types of images you choose to use for the double exposure.