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3775 Market Stree NE
Salem, Oregon 97301

We're a small-town, family owned and operated photo lab that never gave up on film. Today we provide top-notch film processing, scanning, and printing services from film and digital with the best customer service in the industry.

Blog

Double Exposures

PhotoVision Team

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How do you shoot a double exposure on film? @briandsmithphotography spills how he created this award-winning beauty:

🎞️ How to Rate Your Film

“I almost always rate my film at box speed, but when doing double exposures, I take two separate images rated -1 stop underexposed each. So, when shooting Portra160 like I did here, I rated each shot at 320 ISO.”

👯‍♀️ How to Create the Image Above

“It is important to have a difference in exposure or contrast between the two images you’re overlaying, without having too extreme of a difference in texture, so the subject doesn't get completely lost. Here, I positioned the model in front of the backdrop, where there was about -1 stop less light hitting the backdrop. This, combined with her brighter, more reflective skin, created an even greater separation + ensured she wouldn't get lost in the resulting image. I always shoot the portrait first (2), mostly to help with framing. I usually take a Rule of 3rds approach (3), so I have a way to visualize the alignment between each frame + remember where the model is. Here, I aligned her eyes with the upper 3rd of my focusing screen + captured the 1st image. Next, without advancing my film, + keeping my exposure at -1 stop under, I exposed the 2nd image (4) of just the floral backdrop. I looked for an area with lots of color that still had an empty, dark blue spot where the model’s face had been in my 1st frame. I did this to ensure I could still see her face clearly in the final image. I aligned the empty, dark blue spot of the backdrop with the same upper 3rd I used to align the model’s eyes, + captured the 2nd image. Then, I advanced my film. By capturing the 1st exposure against the same backdrop I used for the 2nd exposure, I ensured there was beautiful, overlapping texture that wasn’t too busy + confusing to the eye.”

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👯‍♀️ How to Create the Image Below

“This double exposure was photographed using the same process I described above, but this time on a Contax645. I still used Portra160 and still rated each image at 320 ISO (-1 stop underexposed). I took the portrait first, in front of the same floral backdrop as above, but this time with a tighter crop on the face. After I snapped the portrait, I didn’t advance the film, and took the second exposure of the letter. Because the letter was an even and bright surface, I knew that it would create a matte effect over the entirety of the image, while the writing (the darker tones of the letter) would stand out against the midtones in the model's skin.

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📣 Have you tried double exposures? What’s your favorite technique?

📷 by @briandsmithphotography on #Portra160 with a (1) #NikonFM3A and (6) #Contax645. Scanned on #FrontierSP3000. 🏆 Congrats to Brian, who won @bellelumieremagazine’s Summer 2019 Emerging Film Photographer with image (1)!

@kodakprofessional @hayleemichalski_