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Creating a multiple-exposure effect


From:

Photoshop Creative Effects Workshop

with Tim Grey

Video: Creating a multiple-exposure effect

A multiple exposure effect can create a unique and interesting result, but it does require some planning in the capture to acheive the best results. For example, if you want to blend two exposures, each will contribute half the light to the final result, so you need to underexpose each image by one stop. If you wanted to blend four exposures, you would need to underexpose each by 2 stops. In this lesson, we'll explore a method for blending these images together using Photoshop. I'm going to start out in Bridge, so that I can assemble my multiple images into a single document. I will click on the first image I want to combine into a multiple exposure effect, and then hold the Shift key and click on the final image, in this case the second image, so that all of the images in between will be selected. In this way I can select as many images as I like, although obviously for this type of effect, that does mean that each of those images needs to have been underexposed by the proper amount.
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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Creative Effects Workshop
2h 19m Intermediate Apr 30, 2011

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Digital photographers using Adobe Photoshop sometimes get so caught up in working efficiently and mastering complex techniques that they can forget photography is at heart a creative endeavor. In this course photographer and author Tim Grey encourages you to explore how you can leverage the power of Photoshop to express your creative vision. Learn how to apply various creative effects related to tonality, color, artistic filters, creative borders, image montages, and much more. Along the way, see every detail of how these effects are achieved so you can adapt them to suit your own purposes. The course concludes with a series of projects that involve the use of multiple creative effects for a single image. Note: This course was recorded in Photoshop CS5, but was created with users of both Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS4 in mind.

Topics include:
  • Safely experimenting with creativity
  • Creating a black-and-white effect
  • Using Curves presets for creative effects
  • Applying a vignette
  • Using the Filter Gallery
  • Applying a Gradient Map adjustment
  • Creating a multiple exposure effect
  • Hand-painting an image
  • Creative projects
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Creating a multiple-exposure effect

A multiple exposure effect can create a unique and interesting result, but it does require some planning in the capture to acheive the best results. For example, if you want to blend two exposures, each will contribute half the light to the final result, so you need to underexpose each image by one stop. If you wanted to blend four exposures, you would need to underexpose each by 2 stops. In this lesson, we'll explore a method for blending these images together using Photoshop. I'm going to start out in Bridge, so that I can assemble my multiple images into a single document. I will click on the first image I want to combine into a multiple exposure effect, and then hold the Shift key and click on the final image, in this case the second image, so that all of the images in between will be selected. In this way I can select as many images as I like, although obviously for this type of effect, that does mean that each of those images needs to have been underexposed by the proper amount.

I can then choose tools > Photoshop and then load files into Photoshop layers from the menu. This will open each of the images I've selected and put both of them into a single mutlilayered document within Photoshop. The rest is remarkably easy. You can see on the Layers panel, I have two layers. One for each of the images that I selected in Bridge. And I want to combine or blend each of these images, into a single final result. That calls for a blend mode and so I'll click on the pop-up at the top left of the Layers panel.

And the blend mode I'm going to choose is the screen blend mode. This is a lightening blend mode, that will blend both images together. You can think of this basic process, as producing the same result as though, we had exposed two images on the same frame of film. Or think of it, as projecting two individual images, with two projectors, onto the same wall. But each of those images, starts out a little bit dark, when we blend them together, as we'll see when we choose the screen blend mode. We get a properly exposed final result, that combines each of the images. In this case, that produces a rather dramatic and somewhat abstract result. But of course, the particular result you achieve, will depend on the images that you're combining.

And at this point, I could most certainly add additional adjustment layers, to further refine the final effect. As you can see, creating a multiple exposure effect is quite simple. Capture images that are slightly underexposed, bring them together into a single document, and use the screen blend mode for each of the layers above the bottom-most layer in order to blend the images together. Very simple, and yet you can produce a very creative and interesting result with this technique.

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