My Analogue Guide to Taking Double Exposures
Multiple exposure is the capturing of multiple images on a single frame such that the images overlap one another, creating an out of the world image. As such a double exposure would involve the overlapping of 2 images.
Of course, the multiple exposure effect can be easily achieved with Photoshop. But what I’m going to touch on is achieving it through your analogue film cameras.
Note: I’m assuming the reader has some knowledge on exposure levels as I will not be going into details on controlling exposure in multiple exposures. So if you’re not too sure, read up on it or drop a question in the comments section
So far, I have tried double exposures on the Superheadz Ultra Wide & Slim (UWS), the LC-A+ and the Diana cameras. Therefore, please pardon the fact that my knowledge of taking a double exposure is limited to these cameras only.
I generally take 2 approaches when it comes to double exposures.
1. Press the shutter button twice.
2. Run through the film twice.
Method #1 sounds simple enough but there you may or may not be required to do something before that 2nd shutter release. It is also dependent on the model of camera you are using.
The Diana cameras are fairly straightforward where there is no need to do anything between the shutter releases. See picture you like, click. See another picture you like, click again. Turn the film advance wheel once you’re satisfied with the number of exposures you have taken for that frame.
For LC-A+ cameras, you have to take the first shot and manually shift the MX (Multi Xposure) slider at the bottom of the camera before you can trigger the 2nd exposure.
Unfortunately, UWS do not have the MX function so it will either require some physical modification to the camera or advance the film to the next frame (to allow the shutter button to “pop up”) and manually rewind it back to the previous frame to trigger the 2nd exposure. This will require some great estimation work to pull off.
From my previous posts, there are a few examples of double exposures taken using Method #1. They are usually taken at the same scene because I have to free up my camera to take other single shots.
I have not tried Method #2 until a roll from a few months back. Using my LC-A+ RL, I ran through a single roll of film twice, resulting in some funky and totally random images. Good luck trying to figure where these were taken as I could hardly make out some of it.
A slight disadvantage to this method is that the shots are not going to overlap perfectly over one another and photo labs are going to scan or print the frames as they see fit. My lab was kind enough not to cut the film and I took it back and scanned it on my flat bed scanner.
Less talk, more photos. Here are the results from my LC-A+ RL on Agfa 100 negative film:
#5 Art Fish
A shot of a dead fish in the waters at Gardens by the Bay mixed with a shot of photographs on exhibit. A pleasant surprise that the photograph to the right of the fish is actually that of the sea. That’s the magic of random MX shots.
It’s kinda vague but this shot of the Supertrees is overlapped with a shot of more photographs on exhibit. I’m now pretty sure part of the roll was taken during the Night Festival when there was free entry into the museums at night.
If you’re running out of stuffs to photograph, multi exposure is definitely one of the ways you can do to shake things up. Go on and see what surprises are in store for you!