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  1. #1
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    How to properly make Double Exposures?

    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/up...011/03/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. #2

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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
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  3. #3
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Start with removing the lens cap if you are using a range finder camera.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  4. #4
    holmburgers's Avatar
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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)
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  5. #5
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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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/a.../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. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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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. #7
    Rick A's Avatar
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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.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  8. #8
    guitstik's Avatar
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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.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  9. #9
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies! 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. 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.

  10. #10
    Chrismat's Avatar
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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 Chrismat; 11-11-2011 at 06:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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