Well, I did it. A month and a day of photos. It’s finally over.
A few years ago I played around with a function in my camera that allowed for multiple exposures. Basically you can take several different shots in sequence, and the camera will compress all of that information into one image, similar to if you had shot on a film camera without advancing the roll, so all of those images were hitting the same negative.
Most of the time this will result in a blotchy mess, or a ghostly image of me sneezing superimposed over a cute portrait. A cool way to try and utilize the feature though, is by using shape and pure white value to force form into the image.
The key element to how multiple exposure work, is that every time you are appending a shot to the image, you are adding the light values to what is already there. This means if you take a picture of one thing, and then take another picture that is pure black, you will only see that first thing, as the pure black has added zero value. At the same time, the light value has a limit, at which point it is blown out completely. So if you take a picture of one thing, then take a picture that is pure white, you will only see white, as the pure white has maxed the value of everything.
I utilized the effects that pure white could have by first taking a picture of my mom with the sky in the background (save for the bottom right, which had the blurred tree line). By framing it this way, photo 1 had her head, and everything else was pure white, meaning no more information could be added there, so any subsequent photo would only overlay where her head was, as that’s the only spot that can add more light. For the second shot, I rotated the camera 90 degrees and took a picture of the tree line in focus, positioned roughly where I remembered the last shot to be framed in order to have the tree tops reside within the confines of her head.
The result had the tree line spots and her head overlap, while the sky above the trees was pure white, thus maxing out portions that were once the back of her head. All that remains is the area that wasn’t pure white in either photo, layered on top of one another.
Most cameras these days have a multiple exposure mode so you can play with this yourself. You can experiment for yourself and feel pleased with your results until you discover Pinterest, at which point you will see a plethora of double exposures and never want to deal with them again.
I got this with my 24-70 f2.8 lens zoomed in to 48mm. Shutter speed was a cool 1/60 at f2.8, and in ISO of 320. A partly cloudy day, but since I was shooting into the sky and exposing for the shade, the sky was blown out to get the effect. The shots were taken and stacked in the camera using the multiple exposure mode.