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Tricks and Tips to Double Exposure in Photography

Making images from multiple exhibitions is an art with some magic and as old as photography itself. Today, not only is it still attractive but in the digital age, it is much easier than ever.

How is Double Exposure Achieved?

We say that now it is easier than ever, but perhaps if you have not considered making a photo of this type, you do not know the ways to achieve it.

First of all, we have the option to do it in the camera itself, as in the past, since many offer this possibility, usually under the name of multiple exposures. In the best case, the camera allows visualization of the first shot superimposed on the screen before shooting the second, which undoubtedly facilitates the work. At worst, the camera allows us to superimpose two images afterward, selecting two shots already captured.

Another very widespread option is to do it outside the camera with photo editing tools, basically Photoshop, which would surely be the most professional way to achieve it since it allows us better control of the result and it would be better even than the last option we talked about in the camera.

In any case, we are clear that double exposure photography consists of juxtaposing two images. In traditional photography, when exposed, the light would blacken the film according to the intensity of each area. This caused that the darker parts, where less light arrived, reacted less than the clear ones, so if the reel was exposed again, much more information was recorded in the dark areas of the first shot. This principle is maintained in a very similar way in digital photography and allows us to start with our recommendations.

·         Beware of the Exhibition

Joining two photographs in one usually results in an overexposed image, especially in areas of lights that may coincide in the mix. That is, it is interesting that the photos to be used are slightly underexposed, especially in the case of the first, and although it will depend on the specific lighting conditions (you already know, it’s about making tests), a good step is to close the diaphragm our first take

·         Controls the Contrast of Lights and Shadow

In the same way that if we mix two zones of lights we obtain an overexposed image, if we juxtapose two dark zones we will have an underexposed part, with little detail and contrast. That is why it is important to control the contrast between the areas of each of the images to be mixed to get the most out of the double exposure.

·         Simplicity, the Best Recipe

When composing our double exposure image, it is highly recommended to opt for simplicity in the composition. In this way, keeping a composition as simple as possible, at least in one of the two images, is the best recipe to obtain a good result.

·         Do Not Go with the Colour

We already say that the best thing is to look for simplicity to avoid saturation of the image, and this is also the theme of colour. Ideally, the chosen images do not have excessive colour contrasts, and if this seems difficult, try converting the photographs to black and white, an area in which you can be creative without worrying about the colour of the base images and giving more importance to the forms.