Double, double, anyone?


In my continuing quest to expand my repertoire of photographic techniques to help me better express my creative vision, I returned to playing with in-camera double exposures. I did a few back in the spring, but never fully explored their potential.

I had a quick trip to Toronto in the last week and something inspired me to try a few more double exposures. Here is the pink dahlia again. In this image I think it has Β a completely different mood (I also added a magic texture by Kim Klassen.)


Double exposures really lend themselves to surreal, dreamlike, impressionistic effects — and make for great abstracts — which I’m drawn to in photography. Sometimes you just don’t want your view of the world to be too real and too literal!

This technique can, of course, be done easily with layers in Photoshop, but the joy of doing them in camera is the element of surprise when you create something unexpected. You never know quite what you’re going to get. You don’t have anywhere near the same control, but you do have some control, especially as you refine your process.

One great way to use double exposures is with creative portraits. Here are a couple I tried with my beautiful sister. (She may even use one for her Facebook profile pic!)

We were in a sweet tearoom in a little town north of Toronto. I shot her silhouette against the big window and blew out the background. Then I ran around the tearoom looking for content to fill in the underexposed areas. It takes just seconds and the results can be interesting. Of course you can combine this technique with textures or other processing techniques to get the feeling and meaning that you’re striving for to your heart’s delight.

elena double2-1000-2

elena double1-1000

If this appeals to you at all and you have this feature on your DSLR, I urge you to give it a go…and share your creations!

Sharing with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesdays.

25 thoughts on “Double, double, anyone?

  1. This is so unique Sherry…I have never tried it but someday, who knows…love the one with the grass but my very favorite is that beautiful, soft dahlia.

  2. Glad you’re finding it fun, Melinda! That makes me happy. I’d love to see your pics. You’ll have to look for something more masculine to combine your hubby with…;-)

  3. Thanks, Laurie. Probably not worth taking drastic action to play with doubles….but since I can, I am enjoying it. I keep thinking about shooting film, not for this, but just because I’m retro like that….

  4. Just tried it- what fun! Now I need to work on understanding the process better. Right now I have a silhouette of my husband in flowers- not his best look! πŸ˜‰

  5. I LOVE this! I don’t think my camera can do this- but maybe. I’ll have to check. I just love the silhouettes- what a cool idea!

  6. You’ve been having fun, Sherry! Interesting techniques which I’ve never tried! I’m not into Kim Klassen textures at all, but I do love the first image of the leaves and the one of your sister with the superimposed grass blades is really fun and clever!

  7. I love the double-double leaves! I guess it is a little self-serving to say I love the ones of me – but I do, because they don’t look like me! And yes, one will be making its way to Facebook as my new profile pic! Thanks.

  8. I love those first two images! I used to like doing multiple exposures when I shot with film – they were fun and the results could be pretty interesting, though I didn’t try enough of them to get any good at it. Alas, I don’t think I can do them in-camera now that I’m digital (at least not on my camera). I guess my options would be to seriously upgrade my camera, or dig out my old SLR & buy some film!

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