The double exposure is a great digital art technique and it’s very popular, because you can get really high end looking results with a small amount of effort. I’ve made more than a few of these over the years for magazine covers and editorials. Where a lot of double exposures fall short is with a boring silhouette. In this Photoshop tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a custom brush that will make the edges of your double exposure way more interesting. Of course I will show you how to create a double exposure along the way. We are using Photoshop 2022, but this will work in any version of Photoshop.

Start with a photo. A profile picture is a good way to start.

Now we will select the person in the image

Choose the Object Selection tool

Click on Select Subject to load a selection around the woman.

Press Cmd/Ctrl+J (Cmd mac / Ctrl Windows)  to copy the selected area to a new layer

Now we will add a solid white layer between the original and the cut out

Choose new Adjustment layer and Solid Color

Select white for the layer and drag it underneath the cutout layer.

Select the image we’ll use to overlay with our subject. I’m making use of a tree picture. To get the second image, select File>Place Embedded, or drag it into Photoshop from another window or library.

Drag the image to the top of the layer stack if it is below our subject.

We will create a clipping group to fit the image inside the cutout.

Hold down the alt or option key while moving the cursor between the two layers in the Layers panel. An arrow will be visible. To merge the top layer with the layer below it, click.

This is what it should look like with the top layer clipped to the shape of the cutout.

Let’s blend the layers together.

Top layer selected, Choose Normal and change it to screen on the layers panel.

In screen mode you will see the 2 images blend together.

Screen blending mode produces a result like shining 2 projectors with different images at the same screen.

To open levels, use Ctrl/Cmd+L.

The white triangle on the right should be moved towards the middle. The brighter regions will turn white as you do this, improving the overall impact.

The combination looks extremely well, as you can see. The edges, however, are a tad dull. Let’s add tree branches all the way around to give them some flavour.

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