An Easy Way to Get That See-Through Frame Effect for Cool Portraits

Thinking of making your portraits extra cool or fun? Sure, you can use props and colors to jazz up your photos, but there are many other tricks to create interesting images. One of the techniques you can try today is a see-through frame effect. It’s incredibly simple and you only need a few things to achieve this cool look.

Aaron Nace of PHLEARN comes to the rescue again with a quick and easy video tutorial for this easy see-through frame effect. To get started, you only need your camera, a tripod, and an empty frame (a cheap one from the thrift store or antique shop will do). If you’ve got all of that ready, go ahead and see how it’s done below.

Take note that for this effect, an empty frame like Aaron used is best so the colors and tones for both shots are consistent. Shooting manually and locking your focus is also important so your camera doesn’t refocus on the background or change the settings after your first shot. Using a tripod and keeping it in the same spot for the two shoots makes sure that you have the same angle and view for both shots. After doing your shoot, you’ll only need to do a little bit of Photoshop magic to create the see-through effect.

In Photoshop, your best friends are the Lasso Tool (with feathering turned off) and the Layer Mask. Make your background shot as the first layer, and the frame shot as the background layer. Use the Lasso Tool to trace around the area inside the frame and select it, and the Layer Mask to make the selection the only part visible on the first frame.

Once you have it mastered, we think you’ll be on your way to making interesting portraits and conceptual work using this awesome effect. Go ahead and experiment with the see-through frame effect today!

Screenshot image from the video by PHLEARN/Aaron Nace