Sunday, January 6, 2013

Fun With Double Exposures - Part 2

Part 1

I've had a lot of fun recently making double-exposure images. My Pentax K-30 can create multiple exposure photographs in-camera, making it an "in-the-field" process and not "in-front-of-a-computer."
You Are What You Drink - Palmdale, California
Double exposures only work when the two images together speak stronger than each one separate. If the photographs work better apart, than the double exposure was unsuccessful. It is important to understand that multiple exposure images are not just random captures placed together, but thoughtful communication.
Inorganic Boy - Palmdale, California
In fact, photography is a form of nonverbal communication--each photograph says something. Successful photographs are both clear and relevant. This is especially true with multiple exposures.
Wires and Two Poles - Tehachapi, California  
Multiple exposure images are to photographs like parentheses, long dashes and semicolons are to grammar. They help add context to the story. By combining multiple exposures onto a single image, one is able to convey a different or even larger meaning.
Am I Real? - Tehachapi, California
I believe that the most successful double exposure photographs put together things that don't seem like they should belong together. Organic with inorganic, for example. The image above combines humanness with painted pressed wood. Separate, these two images convey very little. Together, there is commentary about truth and contrive. One considers the deeper meaning.
Happy Reflection - Los Angeles, California
Putting two images that seemingly don't belong together is certainly not the only way to use double exposures. Sometimes the clever blending of exposures can create an interesting photograph.
The Wall - Tehachapi, California
One key to multiple exposure photographs is understanding the relationship between the dark and light areas of each exposure. If you were to photograph a scene with one exposure then photograph a silhouette with another, the dark areas of the silhouette (as if transparent) will show the first scene, while the light areas of the silhouette exposure will dominate that part of the photograph. You see that in the image below, with the satellite dish acting as the silhouette (even though it isn't completely silhouetted).
Satellite Girl - Tehachapi, California
Once you understand how light and dark areas interact with each other, then you can go about creatively crafting double exposure images that communicate a clear and relevant message.

Part 3

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