Multiple Exposure Photography: What is Multiple Exposure and How Can I Get It?

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multiple exposure photography

In photography, exposure is the effect of light rays on a film or matrix. Most likely, this information is not a secret for you, but have you heard about the concept of multiple exposure photography? If not, then read this article carefully, because I will tell you in detail about this multiple exposure technique in photography.

Multiple Exposure Photography: What and Why?

Before talking about how to shoot in such a way as to get a multiple exposure, you need to interpret the term itself. It means multiple or multiple exposure. To put it more scientifically, we expose the same photograph several times.

In practice, this requires taking a few pictures of something or someone. This will not necessarily be a single-frame shooting, that is, at an equal interval of time, although it is possible so – the photos will be slightly different and, for example, you can convey motion impressively.

The images selected for further alignment can be completely different: taken at different times, in different places, even shooting live and inanimate objects. The main thing is that it should be thought out.

For all photos included further into one, you need to edit not only the size, but also the color gamut, the degree of blur – to decide on the main figure and background, etc.

Multiple Exposure Technique in Photography
Multiple Exposure Technique in Photography

It’s funny that in film photography, double exposure initially occurred due to the photographer’s mistake, when several scenes were captured on one part of the film.

The uniqueness and bright artistic component did not leave anyone indifferent. Now multi-shooting is also present in digital cameras, which can demonstrate the finished result of overlaying the photos taken right on the screen.

Most often it is no more than 10 combined frames, maybe less – only 2-5.

Undoubtedly, it is easier to make multiple exposure on the camera, because you do not need to copy everything to a computer, you do not need to open Photoshop and transfer photos there one by one, and there are fewer possibilities, since the camera will perform almost all actions at its discretion – both the colors and the transparency of the layers including.

Different Uses of Multiple Exposure Photography

We can talk about two completely different goals that are realized with its help:

  • Creative, that is, the very overlay of the photo and the creation of an unusual picture with the author’s vision in this way.
  • High-quality image change – high-resolution photo with less noise, more saturation of colors and shades, good clarity.
Multiple Exposure Technique
Multiple Exposure Technique

Let’s talk first about the first point and how to do it. Here, as I have already indicated, it is quite possible to create the impression of a moving object.

You may also like to read: Ideas for An Artistic Photoshoot

You can also multiply the object and present it in a single frame. There are examples showing interesting effects when the same scene is shot at different focal lengths or different degrees of focus. No matter how you experiment with the multiple exposure technique, you should consider the following nuances:

  • Draw a large object in one photo, and small objects in the second.
  • Always place a dark frame underneath lighter or lighter areas of one image and shadow areas of another.
  • Mix different colors, including opposite ones.
  • Try shooting the same scene with multiple lenses.
  • Use different types of photos. Let’s say you combine portrait and landscape as a background.
  • The image does not have to be in color, but the shades of black and white should also be adjusted in post-processing.
  • Shoot so that the frames differ in exposure by one stop.
  • Make allowance for light changes over time or in great locations.
Multiple Exposure
Multiple Exposure

Now let’s touch on a question that one of my previous articles has already been devoted to: creating an HDR photo or working with the dynamic range of images. In this case, you also take several frames, usually three. They differ by only one stop of exposure; thus, an underexposed, normal, and overexposed picture is obtained. By superimposing them on top of each other, it is possible to improve the picture, initially with flaws expressed to a certain extent.

Just imagine, even if you photographed a landscape with manual settings, there may be significant flaws in it, for example, an eerily light sky or a completely dark area of the earth.

To bring a photo to an acceptable form, you will have to spend both time and effort in Photoshop or Lightroom. So why do this if you can take a few frames in a couple of seconds and then combine them! Of course, everything is not as simple as I described, and you will have to work in a special program, nevertheless, this is one of the effective methods of transforming a photo from ordinary into high-quality, worthy of the pro level.

You may also like to read: Color Processing: 10 Tips for Accurate Color Processing

This is all about the multiple exposure photography. If you want to understand your camera in more detail, then the video below given courses will be simply irreplaceable for you. You will learn about the many possibilities of your DSLR camera, learn how to set the correct settings and, accordingly, get high-quality photos.