I am trying to search on internet the technique for the following image but I can't seem to get the much info on it. How did the photographer managed to capture this.

Can anyone here plz suggest some guidelines how to achieve this?


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    Please see meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/3881/… and edit this post accordingly. It will help you get better answer and also help future visitors. Thank you!
    – mattdm
    Dec 3, 2013 at 11:45
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    The same image without background texture here. The same male model in a similar image here. Dec 4, 2013 at 8:03
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    For everyone who is interested: his name is Evan Sharboneau, and his youtube channel is called Photo Extremist, the same as his site. There he teaches how to do a lot of trick photography. Unfortunatelly not this exact one, but i think the informations is usefull to everybody anyway.<br> youtube.com/user/PhotoExtremist/videos <br>photoextremist.com <br>BTW @Esa Paulastro: this is actally the photographer himself, as you presumed.<br><br> enjoy and have fun learning or being inspired. Dec 4, 2013 at 10:12
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    He has that exact image, and how to do it, in his ebook at trickphotographybook.com
    – user24697
    Dec 13, 2013 at 4:04

3 Answers 3


It is the composite of three images, a pair of hands, a face and a rough textured wall or floor.

Whilst composite images can be done in camera, a classic double exposure is only capable of adding images together. In a double exposure the whites of the eyes would be visible in the dark areas between the fingers, strongly suggesting a more complex blending process (multiply, overlay etc.) performed in an image editor such as Photoshop.

  • i think this doesn't do the trick completely. When you look at the nose, you will find that the nostrils are too far apart. So there probably was some editing done to the original face picture as well, to get the effect pop out even better. Dec 3, 2013 at 12:06
  • The texture may also be a synthetic effect rather than a third photo.
    – mattdm
    Dec 3, 2013 at 12:57
  • Yes, I thought so too. But I was actually more interested in a step by step tutorial or a link which could explain this technique. I do understand its multiple exposure blending done in photoshop. And @user2664856 The nose is just erased where hand doesn't cover the face. All this image is doing is showing face in the hands so to do that during blending one HAS to remove nose or whatever. Look at the forehead or one of the eyebrows. Thanks anyway for your view.
    – Amrit
    Dec 4, 2013 at 5:44
  • @Matt Grum +1 for the correct description of the process but do you have any link which explains step by step process?
    – Amrit
    Dec 4, 2013 at 5:45
  • @user2664856 - The male model has a rather wide nose, there's really no problem with his nostrils. I've just browsed thru a few hundred photos from this photographer and this man seems to be his favourite male model (perhaps the photographer himself?). Dec 4, 2013 at 8:08

I'll skip trying to explain the sample photo. The following was not used in making that sample.

When you want one photo over another, it could be easiest done with a slides projector. Have a slide projected on the surface of your choice and place your camera very near to the projector for photographing the combined view of the slide and underlying surface. The underlying surface could be hands, like in the sample photo, or practically any other surface that reflects light well enough to be photographed.

For an example of this, take a look at Craig Walsh's surreal 3D projections show in Huffington Post site. Slides of different faces were projected on trees in a park, making the trees look like large heads.

If the sample photo was made with this technique (it is not) then the wording would not be "transparent hands over a face", but "transparent face over hands" ;)

  • Why do you "skip trying to explain the sample photo" when the OP asked specifically about that image? The question isn't "what are some ways to combine images?" but rather "how to achieve this?"
    – Caleb
    Dec 3, 2013 at 22:21
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    @Caleb - I like to think that the question title actually means something. This time it is about a trick technique for "transparent hands over face". Besides, I'm not convinced the hands or even the whole image is really a photograph. Could be a painting. Dec 3, 2013 at 23:01
  • @EsaPaulasto Thanks for your view my friend. But 'it is a photograph' but not a painting.
    – Amrit
    Dec 4, 2013 at 5:40

To me it looks like it is a painting. The face does not appear to be a photograph to me. If it is in fact a painting, then it was accomplished by painting. The texture in the background appears to be the texture of the canvas it is painted on.

To accomplish a similar look would be impossible in camera as you would need to apply blending that isn't possible through multiple exposures and would need to apply effects to get a painted look. In Photoshop, it is a much simpler case of using layer blending and masks to blend the images together however you like, possibly with a multiplicative blend and some masks for the fading it out. You would also need to apply painted effects to the layers to get the same feel and would have to split the face to properly space it on the hands as it is in the example shot.

Update: Hmm, I did find the same image on a stock photo site, however the sample there doesn't seem to have the background texture of this one. The artist page is here. Most of his other work appears to be photography, but some of it does seem to have painted elements, so it's hard to say definitively one way or the other.

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    "impossible"? Really??! :)
    – Amrit
    Dec 4, 2013 at 10:29
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    @Amritpal - yes, impossible, in camera multiple exposure is additive. This is not additive. You can't accomplish it in camera. You might be able to accomplish it IRL by doing a projection on to the hands, but that wouldn't really be in-camera in my opinion.
    – AJ Henderson
    Dec 4, 2013 at 14:12

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