How Do You Create A Multiple Exposure?

One of my own attempts at double exposing, some of my friends in the kitchen.

I recently received a question asking what a multiple exposure was. A multiple exposure is just what it says, a photo that has been exposed multiple times. This simply means that you open the shutter twice on the same frame, resulting in two images on, well, one image or one photograph.

How do I do this on purpose? First you have to have a film camera and some film. Digital cameras sometimes come with setting that give you the ability to create multiple exposures, but let’s all be honest here, film is the only real way to create a double exposure that looks awesome. In my opinion double exposures done with digital cameras look fake and there is too much control. By using a film camera, you don’t know how it will turn out until it’s developed.

  1. Take a photo like you normally would.
  2. Press the film rewind button, usually it’s at the base of the camera.
  3. Turn the film rewind knob (at the top of the camera) until you hear a click, usually at one round of 360 degree turning.
  4. Next, advance the film forward twice. This repositions the first picture you took back into the exposure seat so that the picture you are about to take will appear overlapped onto your original shot.
  5. Take the photo like you normally would.

Volia! Now you have a double exposure. It takes practice until you are able to control the positioning more but once you can you can create really awesome images. Happy accidents are always welcome too. Be careful that you don’t accidentally open your camera when rewinding!

An example of a double exposure by Flickr user, Gx Cheung. For best results, combine both light and darker photos for defined contrast in your double.

Another example from Flickr user Nirazilla

Happy shooting! I’d love to see your attempts.

4 thoughts on “How Do You Create A Multiple Exposure?

    • Well, one overlaps the other. It really depends on how you contrast the light. I normally will do a high exposure (a lot of light) first and then when I take it again I’ll make the settings a bit darker than the first time. That way you can clearly see both images. You could also do it vice-versa. The “see-through” part is just the blending of the images.

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