About a month ago I developed an interest in “in-camera ” double exposure images. Trying to recall now what was it that spurred this interest, whether it was an image I saw or a conversation, in either case, I have no recall. My camera, Canon 5D – Mark IV, has several settings for in-camera double exposures. Sitting down with the manual I read and re-read the pages on double exposure and found the wording in the manual difficult to understand. I sought clarification from my friend and mentor Cemal (Kept Light Photography) who clarified how each setting affected an image explaining different concepts to keep in mind after making a selection. The 5D Mk IV can record up to 9 exposures on one image file. The task at hand is to learn how in-camera multiple exposure works plus how each in camera setting affects the overall image.
I decided on taking a series of images double exposed to answer some questions. My first question was “did it matter what sequence images were taken.” I did not know if capturing images in a specific sequence had an overall effect on the image itself. I followed the following order in capturing the exposures: (1st image, 2nd image, 3rd image) then 1, 3, 2 then 2, 1, 3 then 2, 3, 1 etc. The camera’s multiple exposure control setting was set to “Average” which as it implies averages out the exposure compensation for each image into one. Below are a few of the resulting images.
I quickly realized it does not matter which image is taken first, second, or last. The “Average” multiple exposure control setting figures out the total exposure setting for all images and averages them out. For my next trial run, I took a ride to Providence.
Using the identical settings and number of exposures, I captured these subsequent images. I do like these images better than the first ones due to their tonality. Looking at them after printing, I found that my eye wandered throughout the images looking to see what was recognizable.
Checking the manual, I discussed with Cemal the nuances of changing the exposure compensation from “Average” to “Additive.” In this setting, each image exposure is added cumulatively therefore in a sequence each capture’s exposure has to be adjusted to maintain the “proper exposure” in the final image. In general, assuming similar brightness scenes, you will cut the exposure of each shot by the number of f-stops calculated by (number of exposures)/2. For instance, 2 shots will need 1-stop, 3 shots, needing 1.5-stops, 4 shots with 2-stops reduction of exposure of each shot. Here are two images from this sequence.
My next idea was of taking two double exposed images that would convey and highlight the landscape or charm, if you will, of Pawtuxet Village. An item a person would buy such as a postcard or a picture for remembrance. There is a setting within Multiple Exposures that lets you bring an existing “Raw” image, already recorded on your card, into the multiple exposure menu where you can expose one or more images on top of the selected image. In addition, using live view you can see the effect the new image will have on the selected image on the screen. Using this setting one can expose one or more images on top of the selected image. If 4 exposures setting is chosen then you can take 3 additional images on the selected image, four minus one equals three. Awesome, yes? This gave me ideas of trying this option during an upcoming Waterfire. I was a volunteer photographer for Waterfire thus knew the layout of Waterfire itself. It is the theme of Waterfire that changes not the venue. So here’s my idea.
This is Laura. Laura wears many hats, one of which is the coordination of all photographers, at each event. By taking an image of her then using that image to put her in different locations throughout Waterfire would be fun as well as an ongoing learning exercise. As you see in the images to follow Laura at the Waterfire store then visiting the bridge of stars and the basin. The next time you visit Waterfire and find yourself passing the merchandise store please stop and tell her you saw her “here.”
The rest of the images here are what I found to be interesting, at least to me. I saw parallel universes along several landmarks double exposed onto Waterfire. The most interesting image is the last one shown in this series. I took the image during the day of people loading up a brazier. I recognized the person playing the guitar, as Spogga, Waterfire’s “man of fire.” That photograph became my favorite for many reasons as to how it fits the exposures together into one image. To me, it perfectly depicts “Waterfire Providence”