Creating clones in Photoshop or in your mobile phone


Who doesn’t want to meet their doppelgänger.  I think most of us find reflections and mirror images fascinating.  Identical twins or triplets turn heads.  The technique of cloning allows people to see how they might look interacting with their mirror images.
I have seen cloning photos a few times and really wanted to try one of my own.
Basically to create a cloning image, you first need a location that is pretty simple for later on adding in multiple layers (in photoshop) to the same picture.  Why I chose the Hotel Hotel steps for my first attempt, I am not sure.  It proved a little tricky!

This is a very basic tutorial, assuming you know the basics of photoshop.  If there are newbies out there that want me to do more step by step tutorials, please let me know.  I have added some iphone photos of photoshop as I am still trying to work out how to take screenshots of myself working in Photoshop.  If you do not have photoshop or a ‘camera’ camera, scroll to the bottom as I also did cloning with my iphone camera.

1. You need to hold you camera in the same position at all times or use a tripod.  I never remember to bring along a tripod so I held mine as still as I could.

2. While holding the camera very still, have the subject pose several times across different parts of the landscape that is within your viewfinder.   Make sure the poses do not physically overlap with the same parts of the landscape so that in Photoshop the figures are not touching as this will add a layer of editing complexity that you may not be ready for.


1. Select your best photos and bring them up in Photoshop.
2. Drag the second image onto the first with the top pointer tool This will have created two ‘layers’ in that image.
3. In the layers section lower the opacity of the top layer so you can see enough of the bottom layer to exactly line up the components of the background.


Then bring the opacity back to 100 %
4.  Click where it say Layers up the top of photoshop to enable a drop down menu.  Select Layer Mask and choose ‘Hide All’.  And the top layer is now invisible.

You will notice now that in your Layers on the right of Photoshop, the hidden layer now has has a black box beside it, to show that it is hidden.

5.Select the paintbrush and make sure that you are painting with white.

6. Now, using the paintbrush, paint back in the person in that second layer.  If you paint in too much and it looks, use the erase tool to help fix the bits on the hidden second layer that don’t look right in the visible layer.  This should not happen too much if you have already lined up the two backgrounds.
7.  Play with it until you are happy.

Repeat these above steps for every new layer until you have the desired amount of clones.

I also did a version of cloning that you can do in most mobile phones if you have a panoramic option on its camera.  It isn’t so polished but boy is it fun to do.  🙂

Hold the camera still, have your subject pose, turn panning on and very slowly start to pan the camera past your subject.
Once you have gone past them entirely, the subject runs behind you and jumps into a new pose within the new panning range.  Repeat.
Here is one I did with the 10 year old and edited with the Snapseed app.  It looks like I went nuts on the saturation somehow, but you get the idea.

And there you have it!


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