Photographing double exposures on film is one of my favorite techniques that I have been practicing for over 4 years. I absolutely love the creativity and process of it. The images never turn out how you expect! Keep reading for some tips on how to create these images.
I have used several different film cameras to create these images. A Contax 645, Hasselblad H4x and recently a Canon EOS Rebel G. All of them have a setting on the camera where you can shoot multiple exposures. While digital cameras do have some overlay options, I have never seen a double exposure that turns out as well as with a film camera. I choose to layer 2 photos most often, but with water sometimes I like layering 3 images for more contrast.
The most important tip for photographing double exposures is thinking about the composition of each of your images. The first image should always be your subject and in my experience I have learned the images turn out the best if you can place the subject against a white or light background. The sky is perfect for these and what I try to use most often.
The second ( or 3rd ) image you are taking is what fills in your subject. Flowers are my favorite to use, but I have had the great luck with water. Try to think about how you composed the first image when shooting the second image.
For example, for this image, I knew I didnt want the grass to be poking into her face, so I made sure I shot the 2nd and 3rd image without it hitting her face.
Have I mentioned how much I love using water for these images? So dreamy!
Get weird! I took this of my daughter at the fair and I had no idea how it would turn out, but I absolutely love it! Remember to experiment!
This is a good example of how these images turn out without shooting into a sky or white background. While its still a really cool and artistic image, the florals don’t stand out as much against the darker background.
Another tip is to be looking for texture for your 2nd image! I loved how the foam in the ocean had so much texture. I have found the more texture in the 2nd images, the better the double exposure will be.
Remember to think about posing your subject like a silhouette. Profiles and turning clients to the side is what I have found looks best!
Remember, it’s an experiment! I always let my clients know I am trying a new technique – it might turn out, it might not and if it turns out I will include it in the gallery! No pressure, just fun!
One of my absolute favorite images. First image, couple is against the sky, second image of a floral bouquet!
Any questions about double exposures? Email me or message me on Instagram!