Sometimes your concept can’t be told in a single frame. Try these tips from seven pro photographers to master the art of the multiple exposure.
For almost a century, photographers as diverse as Lewis Carroll, Man Ray, Philippe Halsman, and Robert Mapplethorpe have turned to multiple exposure photography to tell stories that simply cannot be captured within a single frame. A multiple exposure image, composed of two or more shots, is a flight from reality and a departure into the unknown.
In the days of film, multiple exposures were somewhat precarious. Unable to see their pictures as they worked, analog photographers had to wait until the final image emerged from the darkroom before they knew whether or not it was successful. Today, however, digital photographers have an array of tools at their disposal. With practice and skill, it’s now possible to create pictures that once seemed impossible.
It’s no coincidence that about three years ago, multiple exposure photography became a major player once again. In 2015, double exposures made it to the top of the Shutterstock Creative Trends report. Since then, various apps have hit the market, making it possible for professionals and amateurs alike to dip their toes into the multiple exposure pool.
We talked to seven expert Shutterstock contributors about the secrets to making a successful image from more than one exposure. Read on for their best tips and the concepts behind some of their most powerful images.
1. “It’s a great exercise to make in-camera double exposures first.”
Image by Beata Angyalosi. Deer: Gear: Canon 6D camera, Sigma 85mm f1.4 lens. Settings: Exposure 1/4000 sec; f1.4; ISO 250. Forest: Gear: Canon 6D camera, Canon 200mm f2.8 lens. Settings: Exposure 1/320 sec; f8; ISO 500.
What’s the story behind this image?
I spend a lot of time in nature, and I live in Romania, where illegal logging destroys the homes of many animals. I wanted to create a picture that shows the importance of preserving their habitat. We are the ones who have stepped into their environment. I want people to respect these beautiful creatures and keep their homes safe and clean. Because I wanted a moody picture, I combined a foggy pine tree forest from Slovenia with a portrait of a deer with beautiful antlers, which always remind me of roots.