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Learn the ins and outs of double exposure photography with this in-depth guide. Transform your pictures like a magician for extraordinarily creative results.
Learning new photography skills can elevate your art to unbelievable creative heights. For example, with the help of double exposure photography, you can merge the sky and a human silhouette, a great textured background with an animal, or seashells with the surface of the moon. In technical terms, taking double exposures means overlaying or superimposing two exposures in one frame. This technique lets you add drama and creativity, set a certain mood, or even achieve an unexpected effect that can move your viewers. The possibilities of double exposure photography are truly limitless.Photo by Evgeny Tchebotarev
In simple words, a double exposure is when two photos are combined into one. You can create stunning stylistic effects and wonderful looks when you apply the double exposure technique to your photos. How does it work? You can take double exposure shots directly in your camera (if your equipment supports this feature) or apply this stunning effect in post-processing using Luminar 3 or another photo enhancer.
Luminar 3 lets you store, organize, and edit your photos to achieve stunning results with the help of layering and textures. And the best thing? You can try Luminar 3 for free right now. Just click the button below.
Double exposure photography isn’t always done in post-processing. Some digital cameras have built-in features to create the double exposure effect, so there’s no need to look for it elsewhere. Here are some models that include this feature:
Apart from the camera, depending on your skills, you may also need:
Find out where your camera’s double exposure settings are. Familiarize yourself with how the double exposure settings work on your camera. Make sure to read the user guide or do some research online. After that, experiment with taking two images in one frame. Some cameras allow you to choose the base image from the memory card. When practicing with double exposures, try different angles, lighting conditions, and objects, and turn your photos into pieces of art.
If you don’t want to fuss with your camera’s user manual for too long but would rather learn a new skill on the computer and experiment with a wide variety of photos, select the best photo editing software for your workflow. You can practice double exposure photography in Photoshop, Luminar 3, or another program that suits your workflow. It’s not hard to edit your photos to perfection with the right double exposure tutorial. Apart from the multitude of effects that you can achieve, you can also experiment with colors, contrast, and saturation, and can undo your changes quickly if you don’t like the result. Photo editors allow you to refine your photos in a variety of ways.Photo by Evgeny Tchebotarev
Double exposure photography can be done with an old school camera on film. Indeed, it all started with film photography, where you could rewind double exposure film, then shoot over the same frame again. A tip to remember for double exposure film photography is that since you’ll be exposing the film twice, you should underexpose it by one stop. Once you’ve adjusted your camera’s settings, shoot one whole roll of base images. After finishing the roll, rewind it and reload. With actual film, it’s harder to make sure which base photo you’re using and adjust the settings so you completely love the results, so it’s great to take a pen and paper and describe each base photo on your double exposure film roll. Then take the second batch of images. Now you can carefully develop your film in the dark room. Even if it sounds troublesome, doing this yourself will be better, as commercial printing companies may be hesitant to print superimposed images. Take a look at this list of film cameras that allow you to take double exposure photography shots:
In this article, however, we’ll focus on modern digital cameras. Unless you’re a huge photography geek, you’re more likely to shoot digital.
To create some of the most popular types of double exposure portraits, just take a very underexposed photo of a person. For example, take a photo against a lit background or a white piece of cloth. Then you can add any background you want: a forest, an ocean, or even just a brick wall can work well for portrait backgrounds. By experimenting, you can find what kind of effect you like most: dramatic contrasts or a soft blurring (almost blending together) of images. You’ll see that the subjects in your photos look like subjects in creative portraits, which adds artistic value to your images.
For stunning double exposure portraits, you can merge two people’s faces or even the same person’s face two times. By merging two photos of a person’s face with different expressions, you can create a visual that’s sensual and artistic, reminiscent of theater props. Merging two different people, on the other hand, can give you a range of effects, from comic to dramatic. An old woman’s face merged with a little girl’s can remind us of speeding time, while a scarred man’s face and an undamaged one can make us feel deeply about the tragedy of war. This is no longer two separate photos, but a single story. Make sure that the lighting and contrast in the two photos are similar so that the effect doesn’t look forced and your double exposure photo editing takes less time.
Create unexpected results by blending different parts of photos. You can use your double exposure Photoshop skills to place two people back to back, as if they’re bound together. Double exposure portraits are a gateway to creativity. Give a young woman flowers for hair. Merging people with animals can also create a loud statement. For example, a picture of a puma and an athlete blended together will add drama and a sense of speed, creating an analogy that’s louder than words.
With the help of multiple exposures, you can combine photos in many different ways, guaranteeing an unusual result. Multiple exposure photography is especially handy if you want to represent motion. Think of an Olympic diver jumping from a trampoline, a biker doing stunts, or a skier rushing down the mountain slope. Merging a lot of photos taken from the same angle with different exposures, you can see the trail left by the subject in motion. This makes the viewer play a movie in their mind, but by using only one static image made up of multiple exposures. If you’ve already mastered double exposure photography, multiple exposures can elevate your portfolio.
There are many ways to experiment with double exposure photography. We’ll give you a quick list of ideas so that you can see the full range of potential.
Your photos can simply have great aesthetic value, or they can also tell a wonderful story. It all depends on how you use the subjects, lighting, colors, and angles in your double exposure portraits.
Double exposure in Photoshop can give you fantastic results as long as you know how to use it efficiently. To Photoshop double exposure photography, you’ll need two photos, one to be used as your base and one to be added as a layer above. Here’s a guide on how to Photoshop double exposures simply and quickly.
To make double exposure in Photoshop in 2 clicks, download a collection of 7 Advanced Double Exposure Photoshop Actions that will let you merge two photos fast and get a beautiful photo.
If you don’t want to work on your double exposure photoshop skills, Luminar 3 is handy photo editing software that lets you easily achieve more. For example, in Luminar 3 you can create stunning double exposure photography effects with the help of layers. Upload multiple photos, then use brushes to select the amount of exposure you want each photo to have. You can do this with double exposure portraits or with landscapes, as shown below.
In short, you can achieve double exposures with Luminar 3 in five simple steps:
Isn’t that super simple? By adding more images, you can even create a multiple exposure effect. Luminar 3 is accessible, user-friendly software that can help you create stunning double exposure photography effects in a few simple steps. It can be used both as standalone software and as a Photoshop plugin. If you’re not ready to buy, you can try Luminar 3 for free by downloading the free trial below. See how you like it.
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