A Lomography Guide to

Multiple Exposures

What are multiple exposures?

Multiple Exposures are photographs in which two or more images are superimposed in a single frame. They allow you to experiment with your shots and create surreal, unique and fascinating pictures. Let’s say you want to set an image of a train against a field of flowers, or prop your friend’s face against an image of a city skyline – These are possible with multiple exposures using Analogue cameras. Sure you can do a Photoshop trick to get the effect, but that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun! The famous expression says that every picture tells a story – Well multiple exposures can tell many, many tales! And because Lomography is passionate about experimental analogue photography, we have prepared this guide to getting started with this fun technique!

Read more:
Multiple Exposures for Beginners by carmenism

Why multiple exposures are great…

Why are multiple exposures awesome? Because the creative possibilities they open up are unlimited! Plus, once you know some basic principles, they are really easy to do too! Multiple exposures open up a whole world of unexpected and unbelievable results - Whether you choose to plan out your analogue shots or go randomly with your instincts, multiple-exposed images promise endless experimental opportunities and surprising results that will astound you.

Read more:
Double Your Pleasure: Multiple Exposures with Color and Shadow by lomo-camkage

How multiple exposures work…

When doing multiple exposures, the same frame gets repeatedly exposed to the light, so some details will come out more prominently than other areas if you’re not careful. You can take more than two exposures but keep in mind the possibility of overexposure if your camera’s ISO settings are not adjusted accordingly. Don’t give up if you see some blown-out shots in your first few rolls; it takes patience and lots of experimentation to achieve excellent multiple exposure photos.

Remember to underexpose each single exposure for the best results – drop your aperture by one f/stop for double exposures, or drop it two stops if you plan to do four exposures.

For example: If you’re using a 100 ISO film, set the camera ISO to 200 ISO. If you’re using 200 ISO film, set the camera to 400 ISO. By adjusting the ISO setting per each shot, the details in the final picture will be noticeable, making a perfect multiple-exposed photo.

Read more:
Secrets to a Great Multiple Exposure Revealed by paperplanepilot

Multiple Exposure Tips

Here are a few suggestions on how to achieve interesting multiple exposures, even at first try!
It might take a few rolls until you’ve mastered the art of multiple exposure photography but that’s part of the fun - keep practicing and you’ll get there!
Choose your subjects carefully. Balance things out by layering a “busy” image (one that has a lot of details) with one that’s simpler.
Add cool textures to your photo. For your first shot, take a picture of a fishnet, a barbed wire fence or cracks in the pavement (you get the idea) – Then try overlaying it with a second shot of a face or landscape.
Start with Color Negative film before trying on Slides. It’s harder to control the contrast/exposure level with Slide film, especially when it’s cross-processed. Try Lomography Film – they’re great for experimenting because they’re affordable!
Ever tried turning your camera upside down for your second multiple exposure shot? You’ll get surreal images that look like reflections!
Who says you need to layer different subjects to create a cool photo? Choose one subject and take pictures from different angles! Zoom in and out, tilt your camera sideways … do whatever you like!
Try Colorsplashing for more colorful multiple exposures! Attach a Colorsplash Flash, a Diana F+ Flash or Fritz the Blitz Flash to your camera and start flashing your technicolor lightning!
Try a ‘Doubles’ film swap with a friend for more exciting results! Once you’re done shooting a film roll, make sure not to rewind it all the way and pass it on to your friend. Don’t forget to mark the film to indicate the first frame so that the succeeding shots won’t overlap with each other. You can find photographers interested in film swaps on the All page of the Lomography website.

Glossary

ISO – Formerly known as “ASA”. It indicates the sensitivity of the image sensor to the amount of light available. The higher the ISO speed, the more sensitive the image sensor is, allowing you to take pictures even in low-lighting conditions.
MX switch – Multiple Exposure switch, a feature available to Lomography cameras such as the Lomo LC-A+, LC-Wide and Fisheye 2.
Overexposure – This occurs when bright areas of a photograph are washed out. Also known as “blown out highlights.”
Aperture - A part of the lens that indicates how much light is allowed to let in through the sensor. It functions just like the pupil of an eye – when it’s wide open, more light gets through; if it’s closed, the less light comes through.
F-stop – Also known as the aperture setting, expressed in numbers. The higher the number of an f-stop is, the less light it allows to let in through the sensor.

Read more:
The Lomography Analogue Photo glossary

About Lomography

Lomography is a Magazine, Shop and Community dedicated to analogue photography.

It all began with a fateful encounter in the early 1990s, when two students in Vienna, Austria, stumbled upon the Lomo Kompakt Automat – a small, enigmatic Russian camera. Mindlessly taking shots from the hip, and sometimes looking through the viewfinder, they were astounded by the mind-blowing photos it produced – the colors were vibrant, with deep saturation and vignettes that framed the shot – it was nothing like they had seen before! Upon returning home, friends wanted their own Lomo LC-A, igniting a new style of artistic analogue photography that we now know as Lomography!

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