And now for something new!
Double exposure is a photographic process originally used for analog. A double exposure is the superimposition of two exposures to create a single image. Sometimes it’s the same exposure multiple times, or different exposures. Nowadays, this process can be done a multitude of ways.
If you know how to shoot double exposures, you can save yourself from my explanations below and skip forward to my challenge.
In-Camera Double Exposure
This is my favorite way of shooting double exposures, because I feel that it can be challenging and this process forces you to think. There are two ways that you can shoot double exposures in-camera:
Shoot a Roll Twice
- Shoot a full roll of film, then rewind it and shoot it again.
- When you shoot the roll the first time, be sure to under exposure each image by one stop. Then, when you re-shoot the roll, under expose by one stop AGAIN. This is because you are layering exposures, so the combination of the two one stop under exposures will balance each other out and create a properly exposed double-exposure. Make sense?
- It is also important to pay attention when rewinding your film- you do not want to rewind it all the way back into the canister, as it will be difficult to pull it back out.
- For most cameras, if you rewind the film up until the moment the rewinding-crank stops resisting, you should be fine. Or, you could sit in a pitch-dark room, take your film out, and rewind it by hand (I usually use a pair of scissors to do this.)
Shoot Double Exposures with the Film-Rewind Trick
- Shoot the exposure you want, then while holding down the film-rewind button, push the film-advance lever. That way the film won’t advance. This is the process I use, and the exposure rules I explained above still apply.
- You have to pay close attention when using this approach, because when you are ready to take the next set of doubles you have to advance the film all the way.
- So, when shooting double exposures, the pattern would be something like this: snap, hold down film-rewind and advance the film, snap, advance the film without holding down the film-rewind button.
- Not all cameras can do this, so be sure to poke around the internet for more information on your particular camera before shooting.
This is a process I have never used, but I found a nice, short article that gives the general idea of how to do this. And, the images are breath-taking: http://petapixel.com/2012/09/10/create-beautiful-surreal-photographs-by-stacking-your-film-negatives/
The Digital Approach
This is the very first process I used, and a lot of people are using it nowadays, since analog photography is nearly obsolete or pursued by hipsters or photography students or… You get it.
Layer and Change Opacity
- Open your photo-editing software and take two images, and layer them on top of one another.
- Then, select the top layer, and change the opacity so you can see the image beneath it.
- Play with contrast, hue, saturation, whatever you want to get your desired results.
BONUS: Double Exposure Silhouettes
Pop Photo made a good tutorial on how to make double exposures with silhouettes of faces. Here is the link to that tutorial: http://www.popphoto.com/how-to/2014/04/how-to-shoot-camera-double-exposure-photo
So you know how this whole double exposure business works, but you don’t know why I bothered making this large post about it, and I mentioned something about a challenge? Well…
DEO’S FIRST EVER CHALLENGE: DOUBLE EXPOSURES
I am challenging you all to shoot some double exposed images to send in to me, and they will be featured here on my blog. Here’s how to do it, and here are the details:
- You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please tell me your name or your business, and the title of the image.
- The image size should be as small as it can be, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
- Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
- Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link. I just want to see people trying/sharing their double exposure work- this is all for fun!
Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer. I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images. That, and it would be just plain rude of me to do that.
I will be taking submissions until MAY 31ST. All images will be posted, so this is a cool way to get your work seen!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me!