Master Affinity Photo
Blend two images to mimic a double exposure
If you followed last month’s tutorial on isolating a photo’s subject (and practiced a bit), you’ll have a handful of images with fine-tuned, precise cut-outs, but what
can you do with them? Subjects against white backgrounds have their uses in publishing, but for digital artists they can be the first step in the creation of striking digital art.
The double exposure takes its name from film: a frame of film would be exposed, then exposed again, instead of being wound on. The result: a merging of the two frames, often with unpredictable and beautiful results. In the age of digital, merging two frames is easier and more controllable than ever, and with care you can produce provocative, fascinating images that blend subjects, themes, places and more.
At its most basic, a digital double exposure requires two images. Add both to one Affinity Photo document as separate layers and reduce the opacity of one of the layers. The result will be cluttered and lacking contrast, so we’ll get rid of your subject’s background and experiment with blending two layers.
The first thing to do is isolate your subject. Often, the best results will come if you can shoot a subject against a plain white background. This is often impractical, so use paths and selection refinement tools to cut your subject out. As you’ll see in the walkthrough, creating a new layer with a mask when you’ve finished will give the best effect.
Experiment with aesthetics
One useful approach is to vary which parts of your subject are transparent. If a double exposure has a human subject, say, you’ll often want your subject’s face unadulterated by your background layer. Create a layer mask and drag the gradient tool from the top to the bottom of your image. Make the point nearest your subject’s face transparent by setting its opacity to zero, and the background will gently fade away, leaving things uncluttered.
Otherwise, all that’s left is for you to carefully select your images. Two pictures that demonstrate a theme can work well, such as wildlife shots juxtaposed with urban landscapes, or strong portraits of people combined with elements of where they live. If any digital photography technique rewards creativity and experimentation, it’s this one.
Layers Make extensive
use of layers to experiment with different mask types and blending modes.
Creating a mask allows you to make parts of your image invisible without permanently deleting data.
This may end up your best friend: you can undo a vast number of steps, letting you roll back and correct mistakes.
Use images that complement each other. Here, the landscape works with its urbandwelling subject.