A Challenging Way to Look at the World
A double-exposure on film is tricky, and its creation is completely unlike the Photoshop process. You have to think about what’s happening to the film as the light hits it, as the crystals start to grow. Your second exposure will only show up in areas not exposed by the first.
So you have to plan.
Click on image above to see more double exposure portraits.
When I’m assigned to do a double-exposure portrait, I make a plan as a diagram on paper, because of the challenges involved in keeping “dark is light, and light is dark”, in order in my head during the shoot.
That plan is critical to the success of the shoot, because you can’t peek into the back of the camera to see how it turned out. Setting up each picture takes a long time. And each roll of twelve exposures is actually twenty four.
But I love the unexpected nature of these portraits, the sometimes surprising outcomes and happy accidents, no matter how much planning goes into the shoot.
These are some of the my older double-exposures, using a Hasselblad 500W manual camera and Ilford film, and then printed using the lith process in a traditional darkroom.