How to Creatively Create Double Exposure Effects

Happy couple, double exposure

You can elevate your art and create arts by learning new photography skills. For example, by using double exposure photography effects, you can merge a lovely couple with tree roots or a human head with a slanting skyscraper building.

In other words, double exposures involve superimposing or overlaying two exposures (shots) in one frame. This technique helps to add creativity and meaning to images. It also allows you to set the mood or achieve a creative effect that can evoke thoughts on your viewers. In other words, the possibilities of double exposure photography are limitless.

Nowadays, you can achieve this effect using a DSLR camera by choosing Multiple Exposure in the shooting menu. This means you will manually capture both exposures.

Another way of creating double exposure effects is shot the reflections or shot the subject through the window/glass, that will create a great in camera double exposure with very little editing required.

However, for more creativity, you can create better effects with photo-processing software apps such as Photoshop using stock photos or your own images.

Here Are Steps to Creating Stunning Double Exposure Effect

Step 1- Think About Your Theme

Canva - double exposure womens portrait

Before you begin to shoot anything, it is good to think about what you intend to achieve with your final image. Good double exposure photography involves thinking about the message you want to put across.

Here are some of the themes you can think of for double exposure portraits.

Merging two faces

Canva - Double Exposure Photography

Nikon DF, 1/80, f2.8

To create great double exposure portraits, you can merge two faces or even one person’s face twice. In most cases, merging two photos of a person’s face with different moods or expression help to bring out an artistic and sensual effect. Merging faces of two different people can bring about a comic or dramatic effect on photos.

For example, a little girl's face merged with an old woman's face can help us fast forward time while merging an injured or scarred man's face with a healthy one can help us understand the impact of the tragedy that faced a place.

By merging two faces, you will be telling a story. When making these double exposure effects, ensure that the contrast and lighting in the two images are similar to avoid making the images look forced on each other.

Creating a bold statement

Double exposure couple city

You can also use double exposure to tell a deep story or make a loud statement. For instance, combining a photo of a couple with deep tree roots can help create an effect of deep-rooted love.

Another example is blending a picture of a puma and a fast athlete to add a sense of speed and drama.

In other words, there are many themes you can think of when it comes to double exposure photography. Create a connection between two shots to produce an effect that provokes thoughts or emotions for your viewers.

Step 2- Capture the Shots

Double exposure in camera, couple in love 800

In camera double exposure, through the window

Once you have an idea of the theme you want to create with your double exposure photography, it is time to capture the shot. You need to focus on the visual aspect you want to capture.

You can conduct a quick search online to get inspiration or use your inspiration on how you want your images to look like. Are you looking to use a portrait of a man, a woman, or a kid? Should they be facing sideways or the camera?

You also need to consider the colors your images should have. Alternatively, you can combine one of your shots with free stock photos to make your work easier.

When capturing your shots, there are two images involved; base photos and layering photos.

Your base photo can be a portrait, object, body part, or a popular scenic spot. The main thing is to ensure that it has the main subject, shadows, and highlights. Also, its background should not have noisy image elements to make your editing work easier.

Your layering photo can feature anything, from a forest to an overhead shot of a city. Keep in mind that it should have intricate details. Also, consider shooting from an angle. Another tip when it comes to taking layering images is to ensure it is evenly exposed.

This way, you will get an image with good highlights and shadows being more visible than the base image. You can also try something else, depending on how you want your outcome to be.

Bottom Line

Double exposure is a great photography skill every photographer needs to learn. It not only allows you to showcase your creative side of art but also tell a story using your photos. In addition, it helps you to add an artistic feel to your photos.

We hope that this guide has taught you a thing or two about creating double exposure effects.

Posted in: Photography for beginners