How to properly make Double Exposures?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by ColdEye, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    As I was browsing stuff on the net, I came across this article in petapixel:

    http://www.petapixel.com/2011/03/14/surreal-double-exposure-photographs-created-entirely-in-camera/

    I
    t says that all the images were made using film and in-camera and without digital manipulation.

    How do you do these kinds of pictures? Is there a specific order, or maybe in the lighting used to get this effect? The main example that I am very curious about is this one: http://files.petapixel.com/assets/uploads/2011/03/de2.jpg . Care to share any tips? I have a Yashica D that is very easy to do multiple exposures so I really want to try this.
     
  2. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Those are really neat. I would assume most of them have to be studio creations, allowing careful staging of scenes and/or the use of masks to prevent unwanted "strays" from one exposure interfering with the other.

    The one you called out, with the hand silhouette, I think I understand. Shoot the single hand first, against a bright background, with the exposure chosen so that the background just blows out while the hand stays quite dark. Then shoot the model as a normal exposure on the same frame. The portions of the model outside the hand won't show up: that section is already saturated from the first exposure. Inside the hand, the first exposure had little effect on the film, so all it "sees" is the model from the second exposure. Voila.

    Same basic technique should work for the "head full of cigarettes" one. Some of the others completely mystify me, though! Take the second-to-last, with the bird flying in front of the model's face---what happened to the photons from that section of her face? Why isn't there something there overlaid on the darker bird?

    -NT
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Start with removing the lens cap if you are using a range finder camera.
     
  4. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Wow, those are really cool.

    You have to think like the film.

    That last one with the hand; one of the exposures is a hand silhouetted against a bright sky. On the film, this means that the sky has been severely exposed and all the silver will develop black and be affected. No new information can be recorded there.

    But, where the silhouette is, this area hasn't been exposed nearly as much and the silver there is not very affected, and wouldn't develop up. Or in other words, there's "fresh silver" to make a new exposure with.

    So, the 2nd exposure is of the girl with hands on face. This is recorded in the unadulterated silver left by the silhouette of the hand and has no effect on the severely exposed silver of the sky portion, so it looks like she's looking through a window in the shape of the hand.

    All these types of multiple exposures work off this kind of thinking.

    Thanks for posting!

    (shoot, nathan beat me to it)
     
  5. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Wow cool stuff. I think some of the shots from the link can be done in camera. But it's a discipline that can take years to master. I think there's masking involved. Masking is leaving parts of the film unexposed for the next exposure or protecting areas already shot while doing an exposure. Another method is done with multiple negatives with masking of photographic paper instead of film. I love the work of Jerry Uelsman. He works with multiple enlargers and multiple negs using masks also. http://www.photovisionmagazine.com/articles/uelsmann.html
    His wife Maggie Taylor is also talented, but she uses a computer. http://maggietaylor.com/

    Chances are, it's not a double exposure, but multiple exposures. It takes previsualization and planning the shots. You have to think out the shots thoroughly. Good luck!
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Basics: To superimpose on a dark area, do it in the camera. To superimpose on a light area, do it under the enlarger.
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    One of my specialities when working for Olan Mills was double exposure portraits. While the level of creativity by this guy far outshines my work, it isn't all that difficult. My favorite portrait is of my (now ex)wife sitting on her own shoulder. I shot it with a Yashica D 6x6 TLR. It doesn't require much more than a plan, and a china marker to draw on the ground glass to position the exposures correctly, then doing a normal multiple exposure.
     
  8. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    The one you pointed out was most likely a models hand in a dark flat black glove or a silhouette cut out in black paper shot against a stark lit background like Holmburger suggested. The black gloved hand will leave enough unexposed silver halide to allow for the next shot of the model. I'm still working on the first one tho. Great link.
     
  9. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Thanks for the replies! :smile: To be honest the creative department of my brain now is in quite a stump, and when I saw these I became inspired, it looks like fun. :laugh: So for the simpler ones, overexposed background and a very underexposed subject. Looks quite simple, but I'm sure it's gonna be a challenge. The others do look very difficult. I could definitely put some marks on the GG of my Yashica D. This is gonna be real fun. :D
     
  10. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    If you really want to see some great multiple images (pre digital, darkroom work) check out the images of Jerry Uelsmann. www.uelsmann.net. Fantastic.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2011
  11. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Gosh, those blew me away! Thank you! :smile:
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Have you never seen a "bride and groom in wine glass photo" from a wedding in the 1970s/1980s?:laugh:
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    For now, you should start with a simple black backdrop, and shoot subjects giving full exposure when they don't touch each other, or splitting the exposure between the number of subjects that overlay one another. Practice makes perfect, and your Yashica D is a wonderful instrument to do it with.
     
  14. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I believe Jerry Ulesmann created his images in the darkroom using as many as five enlargers, each with a negative. I have seen some of the actual prints and they are flawless. A few years back I had the experience of French photographer Lucien Clergue photographing a model in my backyard at the time of his exhibition in Coral Gables. He actually made double exposures in camera (a simple Minolta 35mm - maybe a 370). He would go to a museum and photograph paintings or parts of paintings and then re-expose the same roll of film with another subject or model. How he kept track of everything and was able to register the frames was beyond me. The photographs he took of the model in our yard were double exposed with exposures of angels at the Getty museum in L.A. That was in 1995-1996. I did photograph him photographing the model with my wife in the foreground. He handheld the camera and didn't bring a tripod. During a later trip to France we had the pleasure of visiting him at his home in Arles.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  15. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Sorry I haven't, I was born in 1989 and got really interested in photography just a couple of years ago. :D But I have seen quite a lot of cheesy double exposure pictures on the debut of some of my friends. :tongue:

    Yeah I'm gonna start with REALLY simple stuff, mostly inanimate objects I can find around the house. I am actually making a list of what would be nice to take a picture of. :smile:

    I'll have to stick with the in-camera stuff, as I have yet to take darkroom classes (or the space for a darkroom). I'll look up on Lucien Clergue. Thank you. :smile:
     
  16. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    There is an APUGer that did a photograph for Bessler in the early 1980's it was all done in camera a nude reflected on a chrom ball, and a few other effects.

    This is what I keep going on about, the thrill is gone to some extent. There is some stunning complicated digital work being done, but this in-camera work of old is well...... working without a net.

    Simply shooting a day long assignment and waiting a day for the chromes was exhilerating, never spent the money until the chromes came back, and you held your breath till they did.

    Remember sending super complicated stuff to the lab in batch A and B, telling them not to soup B until A was done, I would switch backs on the Hasselblad making sure complicated stuff was on two separate rolls.

    Thanks to OP for posting these images, has me energized to do something new, something the digital shooters can not offer folks.
    This middle age horse may just have something left to offer discerning clients.
     
  17. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    I wonder if they aren't photos of photos? Would be easier to line up photos than all those subjects, especially the butterflies and the lion seems to be prints.

    I mean that the photographer has taken double exposures of different prints rather than live subjects, it seems like it in some cases.
     
  18. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    In my gallery here, there's a shot of a gerber daisy - it's a double exposure of the same gerber. Both were exposed at a "correct" exposure. Once you start playing with it, it leads to more ideas.