MULTIPLE EXPOSURE / IMAGE COMBINATION TECHNIQUES

Clive R. Haynes FRPS

Here are 12 methods of making multiple exposure/combination type pictures.

IN-CAMERA.

Several successive images on one frame

Remember to compensate for the extra exposures on the same frame.

2 exposures on same frame under expose by 1 stop

3 exposures on same frame under expose by 1 stops

4 exposures on same frame under expose by 2 stops

8 exposures on same frame under expose by 3 stops

16 exposures on same frame under expose by 4 stops

32 exposures on same frame under expose by 5 stops

64 exposures on same frame under expose by 6 stops

128 exposures on same frame under expose by 7 stops

For the greater number of exposures, say 32 and above, shoot a few extras to reduce the problem of reciprocity failure.

Try the following ideas:

1 Shoot the same scene at different intervals; the static areas remain, mobile areas overlap and separate. You will need a tripod.

2 As above, but this time shooting through different colour filters. To retain a fairly normal colour balance, choose the three primary colours - Red, Green and Blue. Some slight tweaking of the exposure value for each filter may be necessary for more perfect colour balance.

3 Try the same colour filter technique using two of the complimentary colours. Choose from Magenta, Cyan and Yellow.

4 The 'Step-Zoom'. Instead of a smooth zoom through the picture, stop at intervals and make an exposure.

5 Create a 'swirl'. Rotate your camera and make successive exposures. The degree of shift is quite small - around 10 or so will work. You can choose any area in the image to rotate around. Start by using the centre, focussing circle in the viewfinder as a guide.

6 Pan or tilt through the scene to step and elongate the image - similar to the Step Zoom technique.

7 Make one exposure with the camera the right way up, then the next by turning the camera upside down to invert the image and so create a mirror effect. (this also flips the second image left to right). Choose your subject carefully and match up a 'reference' in the picture.

8 As above but this time two vertical images. Simply twist your camera around and shoot again.

Try varying the exposure value between the two or more shots so as to emphasise one exposure or element of the image over another. So long as the combined exposure combination remains correct all should be well.

OTHER METHODS

9 Multiple printing in the darkroom - combing all or part of additional images.

10 Creating a 'sandwich' also known as a 'montage'. Simply take two slides and sandwich them together. This can be done with negatives but the result is often far too dense.

11 By projection. Project two images onto the same screen (or other material for more weird effects) and copy.

12 By using a digital imaging technique of which there are many and various.

 

Often all we seek to produce is a pattern or strange effect. However the most successful and enduring multi-image pictures actually tell us more about the essential nature (or mystery) of the subject than the single 'straight' shot.

As ever, the key is experimentation and practice. Above all, enjoy yourself!