Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fun With Double Exposures - Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

I've continued to play with double-exposure photography, and I have found that I really love it. The more that I do it, the more I understand how light and shadow work in multiple exposures, and the more control I have over the final image.
Leaf Bondage - Tehachapi, California
I mentioned before that you have to start with an idea before you can successfully create a double exposure image. You must have vision. You must know what you want your photograph to say prior to creating it. You cannot just randomly snap away and expect great multiple exposure images.
Daughter Nature - Tehachapi, California
Once you know what you want to create, you can then go about creating that. You must find the highlights and shadows that allow you to craft your image in the way you want to craft it. You have to spend a moment thinking about the image prior to opening the shutter--even more so than with a single exposure.
Dormant - Tehachapi, California
I've said a lot about shadows and highlights, but I've failed to explain what that really means for multiple exposure photography. Here are the basics: shadows will be more transparent, highlights will be more dominant, and mid-tones will blend.
Horsepower - Tehachapi, California
If you look at the photograph above, the horse, which is back-lit and mostly silhouette, is transparent, and you can see the car within its shape. That is how shadows work in multiple exposures.
Lakeside Girl - Mountain Mesa, California
The image above is a good example of dominant highlights. The bright sky behind the girl blocks out the lake in the other exposure. This is how highlights work in multiple exposures.
Cattails - Stallion Springs, California
The image below is a good example of mid-tones. The wood and the boy's face have similar tones, so they show almost equal in the combined image. That is how mid-tones work in multiple exposures.
Wood Tear - Tehachapi, California
While you can do this in Photoshop or some other post-processing software, I create double exposures in-camera using a Pentax K-30 DSLR. I find that creating these images "in-the-field" is more organic and film-like. While it is certainly possible to do this and more using software, it seems like that is more graphic design and less photography. However, whatever gets you to the desired destination of your art, by all means use the route that is best for you.
Concrete Bush - Tehachapi, California

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