Photoshop tutorials for professionals and beginners

Multiple Exposure Simple Photo Effect

The multiple exposure is an amazing Photoshop effect that is easy to create using any software that allows you to work with layers. In this tutorial we will show you how to create this Photoshop effect to clone yourself and get a stunning effect on your photos.

Photoshop tutorial – Multiple Exposure video


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In order to create this impressive effect you need only two things: a device capable of taking Photos (smartphone, DSLR camera, pocket camera, etc) and a software that allows you to work with layers and layer masks like Gimp (free), Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS or CC or other free photo editors that allows you to work with layers and layer masks.

Nowadays, modern smartphones are capable of taking high resolution images. Simply make sure that on your phone camera settings you set the highest resolution available for pictures. On some phones it’s simply called “Fine”. If you use Photoshop you don’t even need a tripod because you can align the images but it’s highly advisable.

Photoshop Effects Multiple exposure
Camera quality settings on a Samsung Galaxy S5 (android)

A few tips before you make the multiple exposure

I made this multiple exposure photoshop effect several times and in time I learn a few things. Follow these tips and you will save a lot of time when processing the multiple exposure photos.

1 – No flash

Try to avoid using the on camera flash. Reflections created by it can make the final image look bad. Also the light that an on camera flash produces is awful and it creates hard shadows behind objects. If really necessary, use an off camera flash and make a few test shots and make sure the light is ok before you take your exposures. Once you have it in the right spot, don’t move it.

Photoshop Effect - Multiple exposure
Avoid using on camera flash

2 – Use a tripod

Take the multiple exposures using a tripod if possible. The objective is to take the photos without moving the camera between shots. That way you will not have to align the images when you stack them. If you use a smartphone or a pocket camera and you don’t have a tripod, you can use something to rest the camera against. If you cannot do it and you have to do it hand held, try to move the camera as little as possible between shots by using reference points.

Photoshop Clones - multiple exposure
Use a tripod to take your multiple exposure

3 – Constant lighting

It’s important that all shots that you take for your multiple exposure have the same light because when you combine them it has to be seamless. If you do it indoors, turn on all the lights in the room or house. That way you can take the photos using a higher shutter speed and there will be less risk of shaky images and the light will be uniform across all exposures. Avoid changing lights as much as possible.

Multiple Exposure lighting
Use constant lighting on your photos

Creating the multiple exposure effect

For this tutorial I took 3 photos of myself doing different things on different places of the living room with my camera standing on a tripod and using the self-timer. Self timer is also available on pretty much all camera and smartphones but you can also ask someone to take the pictures for you. If you’re on a big place you can take more than 3 photos and if you change clothing for each shot you will get a more impressive multiple exposure effect.

Clone effect in photoshop
Multiple exposures taken on my living room

Blend the images in Photoshop

Open the images you just took and stack them on separate layers on the same document. Photoshop allows you to open several images on the same document and stack them on layers and align them automatically. Just go to File>Scripts>Load files into Stack. You can also do it manually if you don’t have that menu on your Photoshop, just load the files into layers and then select all layers and go to Edit>Auto-Align Layers. If the images are not 100% aligned, use the arrow keys on your keyboard to align them. I used a tripod so I don’t have to align the images.

Now you can make the multiple exposure effect in Photoshop. Once your images are aligned, create layer masks and mask the images to reveal the places where you are and make it look like there is multiple you on one image 🙂

multiple xposure layers

Multiple Exposure/Clone Effect – Result

Clone effect in Photoshop Multile exposure

The multiple exposure effect is pretty easy to create in Photoshop but a bit of practice and trial en error is necessary. Enjoy