Overlays: Double Exposure Photo Technique

November 4, 2008 - By 

I love my new Nikon, but sometimes I ache for the randomness of film. Sometimes I shoot accidental double exposures with my Holga or the Rolleicord and when I get the film back, there are some fun shots that come out that are completely accidental. This technique tries to emulate that accidental, random fun of shooting film, but by using digital photos instead.

One Location Technique
When looking though shots for the day, pick three to five random images and overlay them together in photoshop. Set all layers to overlay and arrange their layer order to taste. Color correct the final image to your liking. Don’t be too specific or spend too much time. Like shooting multiple exposures with film, this technique varies in it’s success. Don’t like the combo? Try some different images. This technique works best with varying imagery. Try a face, a building and a sign together. Or what about a texture, some clouds, and a shot of your shoes? Bottom line is, experiment and have fun.

Street Corner Technique
This variation is a fun way to turn a single location into one Overlay collage. Pick one location to go and shoot. A street corner works well. Shoot four distinct photos from this one location. For instance, for my example above, I shot a tree, a face, a building and a texture. When you get home, overlay those four images you took and go through the “basic technique” steps above.

I would love to see some of your Photo Overlays. I created a Overlays Flickr Group for your to upload your final images.

Overlays Flickr Pool
add your photos to the Overlays Flickr Group and they will show up here.

Posted In:  Ideas Photography
  • website http://gimmage.com is same mult. exposure technique only with google images

  • Hi everybody,

    Today with Photoshop, merging images isn’t such a big deal anymore, but I find it inspiring to see that this could be done in a dark room too. My method has been mostly random shooting one roll then rewinding it and shooting it again. Example: http://www.usernetsite.com/photography/double-exposure-photographs.php

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