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Lighting 301

Lesson 26 of 26

Flashed Double Exposure - Layered Vs. Clean Textures

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

Lighting 301

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

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Lesson Info

26. Flashed Double Exposure - Layered Vs. Clean Textures
Pye captures and compares double exposure portraits using layered and clean background textures. Post-production instruction is included in this lesson.


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Lesson Info

Flashed Double Exposure - Layered Vs. Clean Textures

for this last video. We're going to take it home with another example of double exposures. We're gonna use it one where we're kind of layering with the background to create kind of a complex overall image and one where we're going for a clean texture over that silhouetted shot that we shot back a little while back when we did that tutorial about the blooming backlight. Let's go ahead and jump in. I'm going to do a quick, close up shot of them Guys, pull each other in tight. Like how you were a second ago. Want to get a close up shot and touch foreheads on this one? Okay, so this is that portable silhouette technique. Now, what we're doing here is we're lighting up the wall. We're not shooting to blow anything out. Were simply shooting to retain kind of that overall texture in the background, but have a highlight in the center, and we're shooting in tight. There's going to be the first layer of the shot that we're gonna be creating. Let's keep watching their eyes closed. There you go. R...

ight there. Perfect. Now can you aim the light directly behind them? Mhm. Yeah. So a little bit more. See how it's all on one side. I need more behind BC like. So put it right here. Yeah, and what? How are those at? Power them up a little bit. There we go. I do want to point out that you can do this Lighting set up with just one light there, he said. Chin up a little bit. Taylor. Bring the hand down on the back side of his. Yeah, bring the right hand down Mark. Let me explain what's happening from kind of the mindset of the double exposure as we place that light directly behind their faces. Remember, when it comes to a double exposure with additive lighting or that additive mode, whatever is already white or blown out, that's where there won't be any texture, basically from the next layered shot right, because it's blown out. So that brighter area where their faces are is essentially what I'm making significantly brighter in this first shot because I don't want texture to appear there in the next shot. Everything else that has detail around it, that's where we will see texture from whatever layer that we add over this image. Let's keep going. There you go. And what we gotta do is hide these behind their shoulders. So Heidi's behind their shoulders so that we can't see them. So lower. Just a little bit. Angle it up a little bit there. Let's see it now. There. I love that. Pull apart. Smile at each other a little bit right there. Hold that. And now touch foreheads again. Eyes closed. Perfect. Just a little note here. Post process with a little lift in the shadows and a bit of warmth. And we already have some really cool images before we even get to the double exposure technique. While this is all set up, I'm gonna show you guys another shot you guys can do in camera with a double exposure is gonna be really fun. With the silhouette shot set up. We're kind of perfectly set up to do a really interesting image. So what I'm gonna do is we still have those same two lights place behind them. They're firing into the wall. I still have this set to tungsten white balance. We have the gels on there. They're firing at full power. 75 watt seconds of peace right into that wall. Now let's get what that shot would look like. Okay, so let's go ahead and fire an image. There you go. Soft smiles on each of you there. I love that. Perfect. So if you see this, the whole goal of this image is to see the artwork kind of behind them. So we have this really cool silhouette in and of itself with the artwork directly behind our subjects. Now, what I want to do is actually go and do a double exposure. The way I'm gonna do this is first I'm gonna set up the exposure for what I'm thinking about. What I think would be rad is in this alleyway. When you do a double exposure, basically, whatever is black or dark is going to basically show this underlying layer and whatever is brighter is going to kind of add exposure, right? We're gonna use the additive function. I want you guys to play with a double exposures because it's one of those tricks that you just have to try out to get it to work for yourself. So once you watch this, go and test it out. So here's what we're gonna do. We're going to go ahead and go in camera to multiple exposure. Actually, before we do that, let's set up our exposure settings for the second shot and what we're gonna do. So for the second shot, I'm gonna turn off my flashes and you guys are actually good to relax. Now, we're gonna go ahead and dial this to, uh, like it warm like that. That looks really cool. So we're gonna go warm. Notice how this alleyway gets darker on both sides. So that's gonna show the natural texture of the wall that we had behind them. So I'm gonna keep actually pulling it down even more. I'm gonna go to, like, F 22 just show a bit of this, uh, sky directly behind a couple spaces to kind of accentuate the overall look of the shop. Let me show you the actual exposure. So this is at 1 200 F 22 is a 100 we're basically aiming to get, like, that dark texture of the alleyway and kind of leaving the sky a little bit on the brighter side, which is going to be right in the middle again. Remember, bright layered over bright. We're not going to see a lot of that, which is going to reveal most of the silhouette of our couple. And that's what the aim is. While we see kind of texture fill the other areas of the scene from our underlying image. That mural wall. So let's go ahead and do this. Now we're gonna go into our menu. I'm gonna go multiple exposure on function. We're gonna select the image for multiple exposure. We're gonna take that last shot. And now I'm gonna go ahead and get my composition. It'll give me a nice little preview of it. And what I want to do is zoom and place their faces right where we have the highlights. Let's see here. And we end up with this really fun image that we can do directly in camera using a combination of lighting techniques as well as double exposure. Let's go and take it into post. Okay, so here's our final raw file. Pull this up and post this one honestly is going to be very simple. I wanted to show this technique because I do think there is, I don't know. It adds a lot of interest having these double exposure shots where we do have multiple layers of texture, it's not necessarily clean. I do feel like I kind of prefer the clean technique which we're going to show you next. But I also find these kind of images very interesting to look at and worth showing. And you can see how that bright highlight point in the center kind of adds a lot of attention and how it pulls us into their faces. And that's exactly what we were aiming for. So all I would really due to an image like this is let's go ahead and increased shadows a bit and let's go ahead and really deepen and darken the blacks to create additional contrast. I'm going to add in some extra clarity and some extra contrast in this photograph. And then let's just add in a radial filter, not a sun flare. Let's just go ahead and do a burn, so we're gonna go ahead and go to that burn, pulling the exposure down and into the center of the frame, and that's it. We get this really fun and interesting double exposure where we can kind of see their faces in the detail there. But we can also see elements of this background in this location that were shooting at. Now let's go and let's finish out the double exposure piece by doing the next scene, which we're going to take that same image we did in that back light kind of blooming backlight tutorial earlier with Heath and Gina. And we're gonna layer it with a texture and get a really cool kind of clean textured image that well, you've probably seen examples of online in this video. I want to create a clean, double exposure effect. So I'm gonna show you guys how to vary things just a bit from our last double exposure tutorial where what we did in that one was kind of layer the background with another background, and we get a little bit more of a busy look, If that's not your cup of tea, I'm gonna show you another one. Now, you might think these are all done in Photoshop. And sure, we can get them a little better by layering these two shots and Photoshop. But we can do quite a bit in camera, and I'm gonna show you guys using that previous technique of lighting to blow up the background. So what we've done here is we have those two lights that are gonna blow up the background and it's the same exact shot and set up. So, guys, all you're gonna do is lean into each other and touch foreheads. There you go. With the eyes closed. Just like that, I'm at 102nd at 56 400 s o and soft smiles, guys with just the lips only beautiful, just like that. And here's what we end up with the goal of this. I have the highlighted turned on so you can see that we're trying to blow out essentially everything around them. So all we have on the inside is just this silhouette shot. So I'm gonna show you guys now we're gonna go and actually explore to find a texture, and then we're gonna come back here and combine that texture to get the final shot. Okay, so right now I'm looking for that kind of perfect silhouette, texture or object. Now, usually, what we need for a clean silhouette is going to be an object where we can kind of get trailing off texture towards the end of the frame. Now. This means if you want the city to be the exposure for the double exposure, you really need to be wide on the city. You'll be shooting from a distance. If you're doing a tree, then you can be a little bit closer, obviously. So what I'm looking for now is just something we can get to be the other texture component of this clean silhouette type shot in our double exposure. And sometimes that will require us to flip the camera over. Because ideally, I want the trailing texture to end towards the bottom of the frame. This will make a lot more sense to you when you actually see the final shot. Okay, let's go and find our tree here. What I just said was a little bit tricky to understand and I don't want you have to wait till the end of this video to kind of get a grasp of it. Here's what I mean. If you take a picture of basically the top of a tree just standing straight up right, you end up with a shot that looks like this where basically the leaves are going up. The thing is is that our final image? We don't want the textures to necessarily go up and into the face. We want the face to actually be consistent and for the texture to show and reveal and trail off towards the bottom of the photograph. Here's what I mean. This is the actual image that we're going to be creating. I want the texture to trail off as it's going down, not as it's going up and into the face. Otherwise, we're going to get a messy kind of overall look. So instead of photographing the top of the tree, if I am taking a picture of the top of the tree instead of shooting it right side up, I might rotate my camera upside down and capture the photograph. Or if I don't want to do it in camera, I could simply rotate it in post. So if I capture it, you know, if I do it in camera is going to look like this where we can actually do everything in camera. We're gonna flip the camera upside down, but if you want to do it and post, you're totally welcome to do that, too, and it might make it a little bit easier for you, but I think it's fun to do it in camera because you end up being able to show the clients what the image looks like. And when they see this in camera, they're gonna be like, What the heck? That's crazy. That's amazing. So I want you to understand this technique that oftentimes the branches are going up when you take the texture shot, rotate the camera. So that way, they're going down in the frame. And that way it kind of blends with your portrait shot easier. Now, let's go back to the video. This tree is actually pretty ideal. The reason why is because I have this solid texture towards the top and it trails off towards the bottom. I don't have to flip the camera over anything. It will naturally fall off and kind of end towards the bottom of the frame. So I'm gonna get this set up and I'm gonna set up for a slightly longer exposure than usual. Well, the leaves are actually moving, so we still need to be pretty quick. Let's see if we can get enough light in here to get our shot. Okay, We can get enough light. Good news. Now, if I get a certain angle, I might be able to get a slightly better texture to it. Here we go. Okay. We're just gonna hand hold it. I can actually hold the camera sideways just a little bit, and we can get this nice texture that falls off. Okay, so I want you to look at this. So this is how the texture kind of operates. So basically, this blue sky back here, that's where it's gonna fall off towards the bottom. We have this nice little trailing kind of leaves that drop down. This is what I mean is sometimes if you're shooting an object that's going up, you have to flip the camera over so that it's ending towards the bottom of the frame once you turn the camera back the right way. But this shot should work totally fine. Now we need to actually get the clean exposure for the base of the composite, which we're going to do next. Quick note right here. Actually shot the exact same tree earlier in the day just for safety purposes because I wanted to be over white. It blends better that way at nighttime, it was starting to get dark. And I didn't want to keep dragging out the exposure, which is what you see in this bottom shot, because we start getting blurry leaves with a little bit that wind going. So, honestly, I would kind of opt for this top shot right here. This is the one that's going to kind of work ideal. I also took a shot of a different shrub, which is this shot right here. I'm gonna include all three of these textures along with this. So you guys can play with your exercise files and see how each of these is going to yield a slightly different result. We're also going to talk about some tricks that we can do in Photoshop to kind of expand these textures a little bit. All right, so we're back now, and what we're gonna do now is I'm gonna go ahead and first select the shot that I want for my multiple exposure. So we're gonna go ahead and go on function control. It's an additive. We're gonna select that other image. So let's go ahead and find that other shot. Okay, so we're gonna set it to this shot. We did a couple of different versions of this little tree here, and we can pick and choose whatever one we like the most. You know what? I'm actually gonna choose the one that we did. Okay, so I'm gonna go with one of these ones. So we shot this just a minute ago, and let's see if there's any difference between those. They're all pretty solid. So let's go ahead and set this one right here. This will be the first image use for the double exposure. Now, it's nice because they end already towards the bottom of the frame, and that's exactly what I want. So this is perfect. We're gonna say Okay. And now we're gonna do that. Second shot. So for the second shot, guys, you're gonna go ahead and close up and go to that foreheads touching. Beautiful. Right there, guys. Heath, chin up. Just a little bit. Perfect. Soft smile. Gina. Got it. So you can see we actually get to a really beautiful look right in camera where the background still blown out. And we see these leaves going across them. I want to do it one more time, though. with a different shot set as my base. So let's go ahead. This time I'm gonna go on function control, going to select the image and this Go around, I'm gonna select. Where is it? Went too far. So we're gonna go and select this shot. Here is the exact same image. Just done a little bit earlier. Alright, sorry. A little bit brighter. Okay. All I've done is darkened down their silhouettes now, so we're F nine instead of And that way we get a better look to this. So, guys, go ahead and give me that profile one more time and let me go ahead and do disable on function. We're gonna select that first image. Okay, so here's that shot. That same shot Just shot a little bit brighter it. Okay, now let's see if it gives us There we go. Now we have our overly perfect Perfect. Perfect. Now what have you guys do is rotate Gina a little bit towards my side a little bit too much. So turn back a little bit right there, right there. Now go ahead and touch foreheads. Make a real guys kind of soft smile towards each other. There it is right there. I love that. Beautiful. Beautiful. Now we get a much more clean double exposure image within this second shot. Okay? Now, when it comes to a little bit of Photoshop, we can actually do that. Photoshop ping. And we can actually perfect the layers if you want to and kind of remove these little pieces that we want because we actually do have both raw files on the image, and that's it. So, for a clean double exposure, all we really need to do is create that silhouette shot with everything white in the background, then create your texture layer. You generally want the textures ending towards the bottom of the frame or ending towards the area they wanted to trail off and most of time. I like that. To be towards the shoulders and the body, you get your double exposure in camera. This will make your clients flip. There she is. Watch. Watch this. Why? What? That's so cool. Yeah, what's up? That's so cool. Okay, so let's dive into post now. I want to start this by showing you the in camera rendering of that double exposure that we did now This is a pretty decent double exposure, but I do have some issues with it, and it kind of gives you an idea of what you need to do if you want to get it perfect in camera number one, when you really need to make sure that the background areas are completely blown out, they need to go fully white. So make sure you're using your highlight alert to make sure the background is completely white. It out everywhere. Number two The texture itself, especially over the face, is really I don't like it where it has kind of holes all over it like this. Now, granted, there's several different ways of doing this, and everybody's going to have their own style and their own taste. But I like a slightly more dense texture, especially in the deep areas of the faces. So where we don't have that we can use post to kind of help us out a little bit, and that's what we're gonna do here. We're going to tighten this up, so let's go ahead and drop into our exercise files and what we're gonna be creating is essentially something like this. So these were kind of some final images that I created a little bit earlier, using the exact same kind of textures that we've provided for you guys. Let's go ahead and do it, though, because it's not gonna be too crazy or difficult now under our exercise files. Okay, so you have a couple of different textures. You have this one, um, as well as this darker one. And we have some of these different files right here. So what I'm gonna do is let's use this raw image and let's combine it with this texture right here. So I'm going to process both of these And what I'm going to do for this guy is let's turn on the highlight alert just so we can see what's going to be blown out. And I'm going to go ahead and just blow out my whites. So I'm gonna take my white points up, and I'm gonna add a little bit extra contrast in the leaves and a little bit of detail into my shadows because I do want to see some of the dimension, the shape and the leaves. But not too much around there is good. Okay, now, I'm gonna go ahead and go down to this image. And I believe we had this image was actually finished. So let's do this. We did this earlier. This was the color version of this. Um, if you don't have those settings, you can pause and dial them in now. But I'm going to go back the last image and click previous. So we got our settings copied over. Let's reset out those brush strokes because they're landing in areas that we don't want. And let's go ahead and add back in. What we did was we did that white out brush, right? So that white, we're gonna go ahead and go to Dodge wide out, and we're gonna turn on auto mask, and we're gonna paint this in to get the rest of the background white. Okay. All right. That's it. Both these files are now prepped and ready to go. So all we're gonna do is grab both of them and go ahead and jump into Photoshop. So let's go open as layers in Photoshop. Okay, So with these open, I'm gonna show you how simple this can be. I'm also going to give you a couple of tricks here and there So with this layer on top, I'm just gonna flip the texture layer over to one of the screen based mode so we can go lighten honestly, Lightner screen or going to your two best options. And what we have now is we can see a lot of the texture showing up kind of in the face, and all we would do to remove that is either paint on or off with a layer mask, right? So that's going to be very simple, but the other option in addition to this. So let's say this is option number one, right? We're gonna press B, and we're gonna go ahead and just paint black where we don't want to see these textures so we can essentially have the textures kind of start appearing as it gets down and into their chest areas. Now what you'll notice, though, is that I don't like the way that her texture is not really dropping down into the shoulders like his looks really nice, but hers doesn't go down far enough, and it's because this underlying texture that we're using isn't quite large enough of a texture. So let's go ahead and look at this there's the texture. It's just not quite large enough. So here's what I'm gonna do. Let's actually remove this layer entirely and let's go back to light room and let's just go ahead and grab this and open it up in a different window inside Photoshop. Let's go up and open it up as its own file. Now I can do a lot with this. Number one. I could actually start by jumping this to a new layer and rotating to get kind of these leaves to extend all the way down towards the bottom of the frame. Okay, that's the first thing I can do. The next thing I can actually do is I can go and I can expand the entire canvas. And when I do that, there's a handy little trick in here that will actually allow you to do content fill while you're doing this. To do this, I'm going to go to the cropping tool and I'm gonna pull out on the image and we can go hold down shift to constrain the proportions, and I'm going to let go right there. I'm going to select content aware. So now what that's going to do is when I press enter, it's going to basically take the existing texture, and it's going to do its best to try and multiply that throughout the rest of the image. That's crazy. It actually did a really good job of it. Okay, now there are some imperfection this, but it's not a big deal, because again, this is going to be a texture that's applied over the image, right? And the other thing that I can do here is I could actually create a new layer and actually sample So where I want to kind of close up the texture patterns I'm gonna sample from over here and I'm gonna draw it up and over here with kind of a hard edge brush. So let's go ahead and do this. Let's go ahead and just increase the hardness of the brush a little bit And let's just start painting. Sorry, Didn't mean to decrease the size so much. Okay, it's gonna paint over these areas concealing the detail. We can even cover up the branches if we want, and it really doesn't matter too much because we're not even going to see all this stuff in the final. Could you hear that? That was my tummy. I'm hungry. I'm hungry. I'm gonna grab these guys. Put these over here. Yeah. Okay, so that's fine. We've created essentially a new texture. Now all I'm gonna do is copy this texture, and we've also enlarged. And it why can't I speak today? Enlarge. And it enlarged. It increased its size. It's a good word. So I'm just pacing that and then dropping it in over this image. Not too worried about the aspect ratio, although we're keeping it straight by snapping everything to, uh, alignment. But honestly, if it shifted a little bit wouldn't be a big deal, because, um, they're just leaves and you won't be able to tell. So now we're gonna flip this over to lighten. Is that not crazy, Carlo? Is that not a better starting place? Now we're gonna go ahead and add that mask, and I'm gonna paint black over these areas that I don't want this to appear. We can also make this quick and easy. Actually, if you want to just select a gradient tool, you can use the gradient brush and as long as you have the default swatches selected by pressing D and then you just pull down top down whips, hold shift and pull, Damn it, Press X. So whites on top or blacks on top, hold shift and then pull from the top down. And we're just going to basically paint. Uh huh. My bad. Make sure the actual gradient tool selected and not the radial gradient. Okay, now, let's try that again. So with black on top and white on bottom, you're gonna hold down shift to create a straight gradient down where it's going to basically feather off and kind of reveal the texture. I'm thinking, like, right around their neck line would look nice. Yeah, I'm just gonna keep dragging until I get kind of a nice little mix there. I like that. Okay, So that's how we would essentially create our own texture out of an existing texture or kind of manipulate a little bit. So it fits our image a bit better. Now, I'm gonna go ahead and save this out. Let's close this down. By the way, there are so many different variations on how to piece together at these these double exposures and you guys take this and and completely make it your own. Okay, let's go ahead and grab our file. And now this is the perfect candidate for a duplicate. We're gonna press control of possible commander, possibly and press V add a little bit of extra clarity and contrast to our black and white. Isn't that fun? That's a really cool black and white image. And so here's where we started with this. So check this out. These are two final images here. Let's go ahead and look at each of them independently. Now imagine what your client is going to think. When the first photograph in this set was this, you can literally put this on your website and take it to the bank. Don't don't put these images on your website. They're not yours. They're not yours. Don't do that. Don't take that. I mean, you can create your own version of this and show your clients and then show them in care what this looks like. And you can write articles about this and put it on your website what you can do as a professional photographer. And I'm hoping that this entire series in Lighting three has shown you just how much more you can do with some simple lighting setups and a little bit of knowledge. I hope you guys all enjoyed. Well, I'm going to see you guys in the next video, which is going to be lighting for until then. Thank you, guys, for bringing us along on your journey.

Class Description


  • Master multiple off-camera flash setups for dramatic portraits.
  • Control light with flash modifiers such as softboxes, grids, and gels.
  • Master creative techniques like creating silhouettes anywhere, pin lighting. your subjects, backlighting rain, creating starbursts with diffraction, and much more.
  • Use various tools in Adobe Lightroom Classic to enhance the images created using the lighting techniques taught in this course.


This workshop is all about using multi-point lighting setups to consistently make any location look great and help you capture dramatic, creative portraits that will wow your clients every time.

Building on the skills learned in Flash Photography Crash Course, Lighting 101 and Lighting 201, we’re going to explore a variety of multi-point lighting techniques and look at different ways to further refine the way we light a scene. We’ll start with light stacking to create depth in our portraits before introducing rim lighting, backlighting, and other creative effects and applications. Then, we’ll incorporate motion into our environmental portraits via shutter drag and show you how to create composite images that would otherwise be impossible to capture. 

We’re going to demonstrate these techniques using a variety of highly portable lighting gear and modifiers. You’ll also find “power translations” with each lesson so that you can know the exact power settings used and recreate the same light using any flash or modifier that you already own. Follow along and see how we crafted all of the images featured in this course, from shoot to post, and learn how to fully realize your vision and bring it to life with your camera. 

The next class in this series is Lighting 401, where Pye teaches photographers how to create every natural light effect with flash, including golden hour, soft window light, and direct sun.


  • Photographers with a basic understanding of flash photography who want to elevate their lighting skills
  • Those looking to boost their creativity when shooting on-location
  • Any photographer who wants to stand out from the competition


Adobe Lightroom Classic 2019


Jackie Stewart

Lighting 301 is excellent! I learned so many new techniques throughout the class. Pye Jirsa is brilliant at explaining new lighting techniques in such an easy to understand way and his mastery of Lightroom is amazing!!! Loved the class and can't wait til implement the things I learned!!!!


I love the Lighting (101-201-301) courses; I have finally understood the concept of lighting and how it works. I have been referring to my notes and go back to all the courses with ease. One of the best courses I have done for myself and my biz; I am so impressed with my work and the lighting I can create.


Pye is a great presenter and is able to make understanding light easy. Now to practice and master the concepts taught. Thank you.