Shooting multiple exposures can provide you with unique and creative images. Many camera bodies have settings that prevent the shutter from advancing allowing an infinite number of exposures to be made on the same frame. Moons can be added to landscapes, dreamy effects can be made by shooting one image in focus with the other defocused, and ghostly images can be produced having a background bleed through a double exposed primary subject. Every time you go on a new shoot, think about creating them.
Often, a creative flash of brilliance strikes after the fact. Thankfully, Photoshop provides you the means to do what you didn’t think of while you were out in the field. Although the image that accompanies this article was done in camera, adding a moon in Photoshop to an evening sky is easy:
Step 1 - Open the hi res file of your main image in addition to a high res image of the moon. Both need to be the same dimensions. If they’re not, size the file of the moon the same as the main image by going to Image >Image Size > and typing in the same pixel width, height, and resolution of the primary subject so they match.
Step 2 - Use the Move tool while holding down the Shift key and drag the moon image onto the main image. Holding the shift key allows you to line up the 2 photos so they’re registered. A new layer will appear in the layers palette and the main image will disappear under the photo of the moon.
Step 3 - Go to the Blending Mode in the layers palette and drag the cursor to Screen. This is the key step as it will allow the 2 layers to blend and create a very realistic effect.
Play with different blending modes so you’ll become familiar with their aspects and see how they allow layers to interact. Use the technique to play with other multiple exposure effects to bring your photography to a new level.