Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Creativity: Triple Exposure Photographs

Youthful Energy - Stallion Springs, California
Multiple exposure photography has been around a long time. I've done some double-exposure photographs myself (both with film and digital). Essentially, multiple exposure images have two or more exposures combined into one frame. This can be accomplished in-camera or in post-processing.

This last weekend I was feeling especially creative and wanted to try my hand at triple exposures. The more exposures that are added the more difficult it becomes to create a meaningful image. Eventually the different exposures just muddy up the frame.
Good Ol' Hank Williams - Stallion Springs, California
Combining two exposures can be a challenge because one must consider where the shadows and highlights will end up in the final image, and how the two subjects will interact with each other. Combining three exposures requires even more thought.

Multiple exposure photographs must also have meaning. Three random images placed together is pointless, unless by placing them together there is new meaning. In fact, that's the whole reason for multiple exposure photography: to give a different perspective. If done correctly, when combined, the multiple exposure photograph has a new and different message than the individual exposures.
Realization - Stallion Springs, California
It takes photographic vision to create successful multiple exposure images. One must consider the completed photograph prior to even capturing the first exposure. Much thought goes into the whole process.

The photographs in this post, all triple exposures that I created this last weekend, were captured using a Sigma DP2 Merrill camera. Some cameras can combine multiple exposures in-camera, but the DP2 Merrill cannot. I had to combine the three exposures in post-processing.
Warning - Stallion Springs, California
I first converted the RAW files to TIFFs using Sigma's software. Sigma's software is required to read their unique RAW files. I opened the three images to be combined in Paint.NET (a free photo editing software), and copied and pasted-into-a-new-layer two of the photographs on top of the third. To keep the process as organic as possible, which ever photograph was captured first was used as the bottom layer, and the photograph captured last was used as the top layer. I made the opacity of the middle and top layers between 30% and 35%. I then flattened and saved the combined photograph.

After that I post-processed the triple exposure images in Alien Skin Exposure 6. I chose whichever "film" I thought was most appropriate, then made adjustments to the exposure, contrast, saturation, etc., until I was happy with the look. And that's it!  
Fallen Angel - Stallion Springs, California

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