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Double Exposures

Posted on May 6, 2014 in Photography

My photography group introduced me to double exposures recently, taking two photos on top of each other (same “frame” if it were film). I was inspired by the silhouette portrait images I saw on this tutorial here and have been playing around with it ever since.  It’s been a tricky skill to learn, so I’m showing some of the progression here.

First I went out in my backyard and with lack of available model took a selfie into the sky.  Then I experimented doubling it with various greenery in my yard.   These first ones were my best from that experiment.

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This was one of my shots I learned from (because it didn’t work)…the silhouette background (shooting into the sky) is key.  The silhouette darkened is better, and/or eyes closed, the facial and hair details detract from the blend.  Also, not all plant textures work well – some are too busy, or too contrasted (light flowers, dark greenery).  The contrast needs to be high (silhouette dark/almost black) and the sky white (otherwise any color will show the second image coming through).


I started looking for friends to model for me so I didn’t have to strain my neck taking more selfies.  I learned it helps if the subject isn’t wearing white or highly contrasting clothing with prints.




Here’s a family portrait I played with from a professional session…



Interesting depth on this next one…but Tyler said it looks like some sort of skin disease.  (thanks, hon).      IMG_5720

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Fun, huh?  I still want to try different silhouettes…expectant mother, a whole family, different facial angles.  And I want to pair with different 2nd shot: a broader landscape (city line, full treeline or mountain curve) and get a floral shot that makes the skin look more like it’s covered in a tattoo or nylons.  So much to play around with!


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