And Make It A Double [Exposure]

January 31, 2020
And Make It A Double [Exposure]

With the digital age comes a plethora of cool new features like automatic bracketing, focus peaking, and live exposure simulation. But one feature that's slowly fading into memory is the multiple exposure feature. 

Historically speaking, a multiple exposure is creative process from the film days where one takes two (or more) images on the same frame. Nowadays,you could accomplish the same thing with a digital camera by combining any two images in Photoshop. Sometimes, it's as easy as playing with blending modes, but other times, you're only one mask away before your double exposure is created. 

Given its general ease in post-production there's hardly any merit in making multiple exposure images in-camera, but it does make for some good fun, especially once you've got the hang of it. 

How It's Done

Primarily, we used the Nikon D810 to take our images, and it's simple enough:

1) Select how many images will be combined into the finished product
2) Choose whether you want to make one multiple exposure, or if you want to go until you turn the feature off
3) Shoot to your heart's content

There are two ways I usually think of multiple exposure. One method essentially overlays two images, like the example below:

The other method uses the crisp edges of a silhouette to give an outline to the second image:

Both images are courtesy of the talented Hanna Walkowiak. Find her on social media:

Like all forms and genres of photography, exposure makes all the difference. Using these two images an example.

How we expose each individual image affects what the final product will look like. In each of the next example images, we kept the first shot of the blinds at a proper exposure, while trying different variations for the second image:

The Shoot

To get a clean, white background for portraits, we used a few SkyFiller 1x2s to light the backdrop:

The a solid backdrop is nice because we because it gives us a good outline for the double exposures. 

Directly behind us was a texture on our second image. We drew our inspiration from 2013-era Tumblr, creating our own galaxy-esque background by poking holes into some scrap backdrop: 

 We mounted the backdrop a stand and put a FlapJack C-700RSV behind it to really make those stars pop.

To splash some color onto our galaxy, we used our new Prizmo Jupter18 RGB LED light as the main light and used a Prizmo Edition Daolite and its barndoor accessory for a secondary color.

The Results

1 / 12
2 / 12
3 / 12
4 / 12
5 / 12
6 / 12
7 / 12
8 / 12
9 / 12
10 / 12
11 / 12
12 / 12

Final Thoughts

It was a breath of fresh air to work on something experimental, rather than the technical work to which we are accustomed. Part of the fun is not quite knowing what you’re going to get. In the moment, this is heightened by the wait for your results while the camera processes the image.

As technology evolves, LED lights become more versatile with their functions. But never let the limits of a light limit your creativity. We encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and trying something different, even if it's a little unconventional. 

About the Authors

Alex & Ryn

Ryn spends some of her free time making happy little galaxies.

Alex enjoys over-engineering things, be it lighting set-ups or blog post formats.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.