DIY Double Exposure Art

Hey everybody! My name is Laura Edria Tanis from Turquoise Lollipops and I am totally excited to have my first guest post ever be on Crafted Love! I certainly hope you all enjoy it.

I’m going to be throwing a bit of everything out there, but it will all be focused on photography (I’m a photographer) and specifically double exposures (or multiple exposures).  I have just been seeing so many of them recently floating around the blog world and on Pinterest (hope you are all on Pinterest) and they are all so incredible, so I threw together a quick inspiration board of some of my recent favorites to share with you all.

Feeling inspired yet? I hope so.,.

Not to be a photo history junky, but the terms multiple exposure and double exposure are used pretty interchangeably although they are really not the same thing, especially so now that photography is mostly part of the digital world.  From what I know, a double exposure is strictly when a piece of film (impossible then for digital photography) is exposed two different times, therefore creating two images on what should be a single image. A multiple exposure, on the other hand, is when either 1) two negatives are placed on top of one another to create a print or 2) two digital images are placed on top of one another with some sort of program that allows one to affect the opacity of the images. 

As far as I can tell, all the images on the above inspiration board are digital multiple exposures (keep in mind that I can very well be wrong).  It’s these types of multiple exposures that have been definitely catching my attention recently and I have been working a lot with.  There is something fascinating about taking two different images, both which signify some moment of time, and creating a new image that has no representation of time – the moment doesn’t exist in the world.  You’ve just created it.

I was initially drawn to such an idea because being a trained photographer, I have a catalogue of about 25,000 pictures on my computer, 24,999 of them which every other photographer has almost the exact same picture of.  I was fine with this before going to art school, but once there, I realized how undesirable this was and I thought I at least had some sort of distinction being an underwater photographer, but again, I had the same looking images of other photographers, but it was just a smaller population restricted to photographers that shot underwater.

That’s when I thought about combining all these images I had of both worlds and creating the series

Blurred Reality.

Once I started making one of these multiple exposures (it was my first time experimenting digitally as I had only experimented with film before this), I was hooked, and to my surprise the series was accepted for a gallery show, which opens this spring. Here are some of my favorites from the series that I thought I’d share with you all.

Now after such a long introduction (sorry, I tend to overwrite), I thought since I have been experimenting so much with this type of work recently and have learned a few tricks that it would be really neat to do a DIY: Easy Multiple Exposure post, so here it is.

CREATING EASY MULTIPLE EXPOSURES THAT LOOK COOL:

(Using Photoshop)

I think the best way to start the task is to go through all the images you have (if you aren’t a photographer or don’t have a wide variety of images to choose from, it might be fun to just google images and try with that) and start by picking only one image. I have found that it is best to pick your first image based on the amount of empty space within the picture.  You definitely never want to combine two chaotic images (I take that back – one should never say never).

1.

Drag your first image into Photoshop.

Here’s an example of the choice selection of the first image.  I chose it because there is nothing going on behind the portrait. Large amounts of white and light grays are great colors to work with for the starting image because the other image that will be placed on top of it can absorb much better in those lighter areas.

2.

Since you have your first image set, I tend to base my selection of the second image on composition and subject matter (obviously you want something that will be a good fit for whatever reason with your initial image), In terms of composition, in the image above would you want something right over her face or would the focal point on the lower third of the image be better or something to the far left or right? I decided to go with a little bit of both by selecting a black and white image of a few flowers emphasized at the bottom of the image. 

Now, let’s start messing with opacity (with two new images).

3.

You want to size both images so that they are the same (easiest way to start)

Here are the two images I have selected to put together.  My starting image (on the right) I think will work out well based on the fact that the sky will let much of the other image show through.  I picked the second picture based on composition.   

Go to Image and then Image Size

My images were already the same size, but I made the both smaller, keeping Constrain Proportions set and setting the size to 10 inches by 7.5 inches.  If you set both images to this size, but one was previously cropped and at a different scale, you would size it to the closest you could, and then use the crop tool with the set size you want:

In my case, I would set the width to 10 (as above) and height to 7.5 and keep it at 72 pixels (I was doing this strictly for the web, so I kept the pixel size low.  If you were to print this, I would suggest 300 pixels.

(Try not to get distracted by the puggle licking her nose in the background!)

4.

Create a new blank Photoshop document with the same dimensions as both your images. Here’s what mine would be:

5.

Paste your first image on the blank document.

6.

Paste your second image on the blank document

Now is the time for lots of choices, but we’ll keep it easy.  I tend to only adjust the opacity of the second layer, but you can adjust the opacity of both layers (the opacity is located in the layer viewer on the top of right – you just move it until you’re satisfied with how it looks). 

In the case of these two images, I like the opacity I came up with (only changing it for the second picture and setting it to around 54%), but I was wishing the flowers were a bit bigger, so if you want to start messing with dimensions, I suggest using free transform on the image and adjust it (using the shift key while you adjust so the proportion isn’t skewed) to move the new sized image to where you want it. By doing this, I made the flower slightly bigger and right on top of the man on the mountain. 

7.

When you are satisfied with how it looks, don’t forget to flatten the image as the final step so you can save it as a jpeg and not a Photoshop file.

I did the following two in the same way.  I swear it’s fun, you’ll be happy with what you come up with, and it’s quick and easy! Only 7 steps.

The most important thing to keep in mind, in my opinion, is just to make sure one of your images has a lot of blank space.  That seems to be the key!

I hope you enjoyed the post and will be inspired to create some multiple exposures! Please feel free to contact me or stop by the blog (link) with any questions.

I’ve had a lovely time with all of you

J

Thanks for having me!

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