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15Mar/1324

Multiple Exposure Photography Tutorial

If the above video is not displaying properly, you can watch the YouTube video tutorial here.

A multiple exposure is where you take two images on top of one another. This used to be achieved in the days of film, where you would take one picture and then instead of advancing the film strip to the next frame to take the next picture, you would simply leave the film in the same place and take another picture right on top of it. Taking or editing the shots in Black-and-White usually produces the best results because you don't have to worry about color theory or anything like that - black and white just works.
Human Nature (Double Exposure)

Here are the steps to take high-key double exposures just like the one above. You can skip steps 3-6 if you are taking regular, non-high-key double exposures:

  1. Turn on the Multiple Exposure feature on your camera.
    The Multiple Exposure feature is located in different areas of the menu system for every camera - use your intuition, check your camera's instruction manual, or Google search to find where it is located.
    Here is a list of cameras that a have Multiple Exposure feature
    .

    You can scroll horizontally on that page to see all of them. Most higher end Nikon DSLRs (D300s and D800 for example) have the multiple exposure feature in the camera's menu system.
  2. Turn Auto-Gain OFF, if possible. Auto-Gain automatically attempts to neutralize the EV, which isn't useful for the high-key nature portraits.
  3. Put your camera in Aperture Priority Mode and then select your F Number (I used ~f/4).
  4. Put your camera in Spot Metering Mode.
  5. For the first shot, center the Auto-Focus Point and take a picture of yourself. The background should be as close to 100% white as reasonably possible. You can achieve a white background by having the sky fill up the background behind your head (having the sun directly behind your head and lined up with the lens will produce the best result. Light overcast days are theoretically ideal, but not necessary.) Using flashes against a white wall to create a silhouette also works.
  6. For the second shot, bump up the Exposure Compensation to around +2 EV and take a picture of whatever you want (I like trees with leafs on them) and make sure the background is 100% white for this image as well. I would recommend experimenting and taking each shot by themselves to see which settings you need to use in order to get the background to be 100% white for each individual shot, +2EV is only an estimate and is only what I was using on that particular day, all situations are different.The key is to just get the background to be white and not gray - use whatever settings necessary.
  7. After you have taken two shots, they will automatically stack and should show up in your LCD screen (you can't retrieve the original individual images if using a Nikon DSLR). You can then continue to take more and more double exposures until you get a really good one - I took dozens if not ~100. Some cameras automatically turn off the multiple exposure feature after you have taken one multiple exposure - if you find that this is the case for your camera, simply turn the multiple exposure feature back on before you take your next set. The Nikon D800 has an option to leave the multiple exposure function on all the time, making things a little faster. The D300s does not.

 

Droid City (Multiple Exposure)

If you want to use previously taken shots, or don't have a multiple exposure feature on your camera, you can do this in Adobe Photoshop (The image above was done in PS). Here are the steps:

  1. Create a new Photoshop document and drag and drop 2 images into the Photoshop document so the two images show up in the bottom right in the Layers Palette as 2 layers.
  2. Select the top layer, and then select "Screen" for its blending mode. You also can try experimenting with "Multiply" (The Multiply blending mode will darken instead of lighten).
  3. (Optional) You can Dodge Highlights by using the Dodge tool to whiten up anything that didn't turn out to be 100% white.
  4. (Optional) You can adjust the Curves of the image by raising the left-most lower point upwards vertically a little bit, and/or the right-most upper point down vertically a little bit; You can apply the same adjustments to individual color channels in the same Curves adjustment window as well (Red, Blue, Green).
  5. File > Save As 8-Bit JPEG.

After you have created your images, post them in the PhotoExtremist Flickr Group or the PhotoExtremist Facebook Page! Be sure to tag them with "multiple exposure" and/or "double exposure" so we know what we are looking at and can search for them in the future!

 

"Trick Photography and Special Effects" by Evan SharboneauIf you enjoyed this video and article on multiple exposures, I highly recommend my e-book and video series Trick Photography and Special Effects which has over 300 e-book pages and 9 hours of instructional video content focusing solely on universal creative photography and Photoshop techniques just like this one.

15Mar/1117

How To Take Psychedelic Photos of CDs

In this light painting tutorial I am going to show you how you can take long exposure photographs of water drops on a psychedelic colorful reflective CD surface with a Mini Maglite flashlight.

Pop

Hendrix

Equipment

I'm using a water dropper, a M2A016 Mini Maglite Flashlight, a regular CD, a Nikon D300s DSLR, a Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod, and some color gels. I also used an ND8 Filter so I could use an aperture of F11. The gels and ND8 filter are optional.

Camera Settings

I was using these settings:
Shutter Speed: 5-60 seconds
Aperture: f11
ISO: 100 (or "Low 1.0")
White Balance: "Incandescent" for correct color, or "Auto" for warmer colors

Instructions

Take the water dropper and place a bunch of droplets on the CD after you have put it on a table of your choice. The table I was using was a laundry basket with a thin black blanket over the top. Fancy!

Next, put your DSLR on a tripod and place it right up next to the CD. I was using manual mode with manual focus most of the time (but not always, a lot of DSLR cameras have an AF Assist Lamp in the front of the camera that helps focus in the dark, in situations just like this!)

In order to get my aperture to f11, I was using a simple ND8 filter in front of my lens. This isn't necessary, I just wanted my photos really sharp, and f11 is the sharpest spot on my lens. You can go down to f22 or smaller and skip using the filter if you want. Just use the highest f number you can and the lowest ISO number possible. This will limit the amount of light being exposed to the camera sensor, which is what you want in this situation. Maglites are bright!

Tips

Try making different patterns around the CD with the Maglite flashlight. A really cool one to do is to place the light level with the CD next to the table. This creates a perfect circular reflection in the circular water drops on the circular CD! Really cool.

Try pointing the light diagonally down on the CD, and just try different directions and distances away from the CD. You are bound to get a cool shot.

In order to help me be sure that I get the psychedelic rainbow colors on the reflective CD surface, I Temporarily widened the aperture on my lens to f3.5 and then went into Live-View Mode. This makes it easy to see exactly what the camera sees, so you know what direction to aim the light to get colorful rainbow effect. After you see the rainbow effect appear on the CD in your viewfinder or in Live-View mode, get out of live view mode, go back to smaller aperture you were using before, and then take yo' picture.

Video

   
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