Double Exposures for Double Takes

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

Two photos combined

In a visual sandwich

Such tasty treatment

If you’re desirous for a challenge with surprises, try shooting double exposures. I set up my Olympus E-M5 for making double exposure images by pressing Menu, navigating to Shooting Menu 2 for the Multiple Exposure option and selecting two frames. Another option is Overlay which enables choosing a particular saved image in the camera as the first frame for the next shot of the double exposure.


Using the overlay option, I made a series of street shots and selected one as the first frame to use for my second shot – an ancient Chinese terra cotta head sculpture next to a Swedish wooden Dala horse on a mantel in my apartment. The image was processed in Lightroom and Photoshop where I used the Transform tool to tilt the Chinese head over the walker’s legs for this double take (pun intended) image.


My next effort drew me to an underpass leading from Riverside Park to the Hudson River. Walkers, joggers and bicyclists use this pathway throughout the day. I focused on a speeding bicyclist entering the underpass on the first frame, and on the second, his exit from the underpass. I moved the camera from left to right in the sequential shots to avoid overlapping his form


One of my favorites so far is a black and white image of city traffic – big-wheeled trucks, cars and pedestrians that was shot on Broadway in NYC and processed in the Nik Silver Efex Harsh Structure preset for the gritty drama of the fast-paced action. Multiple exposure can be a challenging technique for creating unique images. Give it a try.

All images were shot using the Olympus E-M5: The Cyclist with the Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH lens at an exposure of 1/8 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 400, -1/3EV; the Chinese head walker with a Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH II lens at an exposure of 1/200 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 400, +1/3 EV; and the black and white City Traffic with the Olympus Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 lens at an exposure of 1/250 at f/7.1 and ISO 400. +1/3EV.