In-Camera Double Exposure: ‘How We Shot It’ for Halloween

How We Shot It October 28th 2013 8:35 PM 24 Comments

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I recently watched a great tutorial on SLR Lounge about how to make a double exposure in-camera on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and I was like, “Wow! I didn’t even know I could do that with my camera.” Sure, I could get the same affect in Adobe Photoshop CS6, but the thought of being able to do it on-location right in my camera was appealing, not to mention totally authentic to the old school way of doing it on film.

I’m a big fan of the theatrics, especially the costumes, of Halloween. Heading down to the lake, and then to a nearby cemetery, with my model in a hand-made Grim Reaper costume, seemed like a great opportunity to try out in-camera double exposures for the first time.

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Here is the first image I took, following the “silhouette” method from the video tutorial at the link above. I tried to blow out the background as much as possible without over exposing the subject. I used the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L lens for this one.

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When I got to my second location (the cemetery), while in the multiple exposure menu, I selected my first image and then pressed the live mode button on the camera. This allowed me to choose the composition of my second image while the first image was displayed on the LCD and gave me a pretty accurate preview of what the final image would look like. I found that under exposing the second image slightly produced a better result.

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Here’s the straight out of camera double exposure. No Photoshop needed to produce some pretty funky effects. After looking at my images post-process, I decided to enhance them somewhat using the SLR Lounge Preset System. Here’s the final image…

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I only had a small amount of time to try out this technique, but honestly, I could do it all day. It was a lot of fun. Here are a few others that turned out quite nicely. The one on the left is straight out of camera, on the right has been edited post-process just for fun.

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I used my Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens for the Grim Reaper shot on these.

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Have you tried this technique? I’m trying to think of more instances where I could incorporate this into my work. What would you use it for? Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the Grim Reaper costume for my 6’4″ (awesome) model, I actually made it using this Simplicity Sewing Pattern with a few modifications. The scythe came from a farm implements auction somewhere in the middle of Idaho (thanks, Dad!)

CREDITS: All photographs by Tanya Goodall Smith are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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About

Tanya is a freelance photographer and graphic designer creating contemporary brand imagery for stylish businesses and individuals in Spokane, WA and nationwide. She received her degree from FIDM Los Angeles and has produced work for international fashion and technology brands. Visit her website at tanyasmith.net.

24 Comments

  1. Yve

    Hi Tanya,do you know if this will work on a nikon d7000? I’ve tried several times to get it to work but don’t know if Iam missing something but can’t get it to work.Btw love the tutorial.

  2. Matt

    Nice! i tried this a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t nail it, now I know about the live view trick it will be much easier!

  3. Jan

    What is the advantage of double exposure in the camera versus two shots, each on a separate layer in Photoshop and using opacity, blending modes to create the double exposure ? Seems the two exposure, blending in Photoshop offers more flexibility.

    Great, clear description of a not often used or not even remembered menu item in the camera.

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