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Creating Painterly Photographs

Lesson 17 of 21

Multiple & Double Exposure in Photoshop

Kathleen Clemons

Creating Painterly Photographs

Kathleen Clemons

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Lesson Info

17. Multiple & Double Exposure in Photoshop

Lesson Info

Multiple & Double Exposure in Photoshop

So let's talk about doing double exposures in Photoshop. This is a fern that I shot, and I really wasn't crazy about the background, so let's open it up. And then I've got it open in another one as well. This is gonna be too big but let's open it up. Okay, so because I wasn't crazy about this background, the other shot is a fern that I shot through kind of a dirty, smeared up window at Longwood Gardens, and it was really really soft, and you could just barely see the fern through, so I thought maybe combining those would be nice since they were both fern shots and it would hide that messy background. So what I did was, I hold down the shift key, and choose the move tool. I get that right on there. And then if I go to my opacity and start to bring that back, we'll see the fern. Now I wanna mask it, But I have to reduce the opacity enough to really get a good look at it, so I'll open that up. I'll make a layer mask, grab my brush, and just paint over the part that I want to be able to se...

e in sharp focus. Just gonna do that real quickly. Then I go back over to my opacity and bring that overlay back, except that it won't be over the fern. So instead of just a background like that, I get ferns in the background, just with a double exposure. And I could've done that in camera, like we did this morning. Take one in focus, take one out of focus, of some nearby ferns and combine them, but if you didn't do that, like me, you can do it in post-processing if you have another similar shot. And I'll just save that. And I need to get this back to normal size here. I'm gonna escape. And go back. Into my slideshow. Okay, this is an orchid that I did the same way that I talked about and showed you how to do it in camera, but I did it in Photoshop. I took one photo of the orchid, then another out of focus photo of a purple flower, it wasn't an orchid, and combined them, and then I got that veil of color that we did right in camera. But I did it in Photoshop. Very very easy to do, just the same process that I did before, and I didn't even mask this one. The layer was very light. And I just escaped and I didn't mean to. But, now I want to show you how to do a multiple exposure effect in Photoshop. This is a Dianthus. I'm going to start with opening a new layer. Opening the file would be good. Okay. New layer. Okay. This one, I'm gonna move the layers palette out of the way, I need to be able to see the corners. I'm gonna come up here to the move tool. And you see this little box up here that says show transform controls? You wanna be sure that it's checked. So in this additional layer, I'm going to grab on to the corner, see that little curve on my little pointer there? I'm gonna give it a twist, I'm gonna try and give it a twist. There we go. I'm gonna say okay. Now if I go back to my layers, I want to set that layer at just 30 percent. Right around 30, 25, 35. So can you start to see the swirl already? Now I'm gonna make a layer mask, and paint out any of the hard edges that show up from doing that technique. Right around the corners, generally, there's a hard edge. And then I'm gonna go back in, and I'm going to make another layer. Did you see it already start to twist? That's already at 30 percent. I can go over and twist that a little more. Hit return, and then go back in and paint out any sharp edges. So you can see that you can keep doing this, if you do it three times, it's like you took three shots, if you do it five times, it's like you took five shots. So let's turn those layers off. So we started with a straight shot, a little more twisted, and a little more twisted, right in Photoshop. Here too, choose a photo that has a lot of dense subject, not a lot of empty area for the technique. Alright, back to my slideshow. Okay, I'm gonna take these ferns, and I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to open them up. Then to start a new layer. And then right from the beginning, make that layer at about 30 percent. Click on the move tool, be sure that my show transform controls is clicked. Let's enlarge this a little bit so I can get to those corners. I'm gonna give this a little twist. I'm going to make a layer mask. Grab my brush, and be sure that I take out the hard lines from the edges of the frame that will show along the four corners. And when I make a new layer, do it a little more, go back in, and be sure I can take the lines out around the edges again. Now let's just do one more. So let's turn those off. So there's my straight shot. And my multiple exposure, all done right in Photoshop. Okay, I did the same thing here, but instead of going in and tilting, I just pulled it down. I pulled each new layer down a little bit, for the same effect. So it's just like when we were doing it in camera, as I said, you don't always have to twist. You can go this way, you can go vertically, you can go horizontally, and to me, this looks like I did a multiple exposure in camera. This is also acadia. I did the same thing here, instead of panning, I did a multiple exposure in Photoshop. Just each new layer got pulled down just a little bit at about a 30 percent opacity each time. And each time, I'm erasing any lines that show up from the edges of my frame. And here's, this is a shot that I took of a rudbeckia. And I took it in this orientation, but every time I looked at it, I did this. (audience chuckling) That happen to you sometimes? And you know it's just, and if I was purist, I wouldn't change it. But I'm not, because it drives me crazy looking at it like that. So I thought, well, what could I do? So what I did was convert it to black and white, and I did a multiple exposure, just three, to create a feeling of movement in it. And that's the finished print. I also put a black and white texture on, but that's the same image. Thank you! But I used my artistic license to play with it, because it was boring and it was crooked. I can deal with one or the other, not both.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Make yourself stand out among nature photographers by adding a new dimension to your images. Painterly techniques draw attention to the delicate patterns, lines, textures, and designs that we often overlook in the natural world.

Kathleen Clemons is an experienced nature photographer, known for her creative techniques and her unique, stunning compositions. 

Join Kathleen for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to achieve the painterly look in-camera with slow shutter, selective focus, Lensbaby, and multiple exposures.
  • How to evoke the painterly look in Photoshop with panning.
  • How to use Topaz Impression and NIK software to make painterly photos.
In this class, you’ll learn how to create painterly images by using a wide variety of techniques. Kathleen will show you how to apply effects using in-camera settings, different lenses, Adobe Photoshop®, and low-tech tricks like applying vaseline to filters. Capture the magic of nature and turn your photography into remarkable impressionistic art. 



Wow. I really loved this class. I took her other class, "The Art of Flower Photography" as well. She is very thorough, explains concepts clearly and is professional, yet kind. I have been doing photography for decades, but flower photography is a little bit of a different animal. I have found it to be extraordinarily challenging - which is also invigorating! At the same time, using Kathleen's principles, I feel like I now have basic rules and tools under my belt which I did not have before. This is a little humbling as I have been doing photography for so long and was surprised there were a few basic concepts I didn't "get the memo" on. haha. This class will save me heaps of trial and error time. I will be much better able to zero in on what I really need to work on. I actually recommend taking both her Creative Live courses. Yes, there is a bit of overlap - but that little bit of repetition is actually helpful. They are not the same class. Oh, and one more "perk" get to view some of the most stunning flower photography ever created. Masterful. Thank you, Kathleen.

Donna Macri Stevens

As I've been watching this class, I have literally been sitting at my computer and saying aloud, "Wow....WOW!" This is an absolutely amazing class!!! I began watching it while it streamed, but had to buy it. Kathleen is an amazing instructor, and she is SO generous with her tips and techniques. I love that she supplemented her instruction with on-site videos, in class photo manipulation and so much more. If you love flower photography or want amazing tips on how to make your photos more painterly, CLICK BUY NOW! I'm just blown away! This is a GREAT, GREAT class!


Kathleen's images have a very artistic and painterly character, so she is a great presenter for this subject. In this class she openly shares many of her methods of shooting to create in-camera artistic images (even with your phone) as well as post-processing techniques. She presents this material with her open, calm, strong and passionate manner that gives you an "artistic license" to experiment and discover "What happens if?" I have admired her work for a long time and am so excited that she shares the secrets of creating her enchanting images here. If you are interested in capturing images that go beyond what you see to incorporate how you feel about a subject, you will love this class!