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Photo Tips: Double Exposures

Double exposures are awesome! Here's a few tips to make yours looks the best they can. Double exposures are exactly what they sound like; two exposures mixed on the same photo. It can produce some pretty crazy and often unexpected results. Of course you could recreate this effect quite easily using a piece of photo editing software such as Photoshop, but then you loose all the spontaneity. The perfectionist in you will try to take over and the image becomes much more manipulated. Accidents are great, so use your camera to embrace them! If your using a film camera for your double exposures then the results will be an even bigger surprise because you wont see what your image looks like till it's developed.


What you'll need then to produce your double exposures is a digital camera that has a multi exposure setting, or, like the photos here, a film camera where the film is wound by hand. The photo's here are Harry's Lomography doubles and they are great examples.

Double exposures are easy. If your using a film camera simply don't wined the film on to the next frame - remember, you want two images on one photo! Some cameras will wined on automatically but they may give you the option to wined backwards. If you are using a digital camera with multi exposure mode, simple switch to that mode then take each exposure in turn. The part which is slightly harder is getting your image to look very striking and interesting. Although much of it is down to luck, there are a few ways you can help your images to look awesome and not just like an abstract mess!

A good way to start out is to take your first shot, then instead of finding a new subject, simply rotate the camera and take your second shot. This means you don't have to worry too much about composition or light changes.


A good tip when using different subjects is to pick a main focus in the photo. This will be the photo you take last. So take your first shot; try underexposing this one slightly. When you take the second photo, you should then overexpose slightly. This will allow your main image to stand out. If both photos have the same exposure then they'll tend to just mix together in an abstract pattern. That might be the effect you want though so just have a play with these steps and find out what works for you.


Try shooting subjects that have different areas of light and dark. This will create some dynamic shapes and image mixing in the final photo.


Very large areas of light will cause the images to become very pale and even solid white in some cases, while the overlapping darker areas will be a solid image. Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Have a play and see what you come up with. The photo bellow uses 50% light area on each image which has blanked out most of the photo. In doing so though, it has created a pretty cool castle in the sky!

So hopefully you're ready to go out and play around with double exposures. We love them here at Phlib. They can be wild, abstract, colourful, funny, scary and most of all fun! Bellow are a couple examples from the band BH Surfers. This is how funny, strange and scary the human face can be in a double exposure!


Keep your eyes peeled for more photo tips coming your way very soon. 

Peace out, Carl.

p.s. Don't forget to show us what you come up with on our Facebook page!


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