Update: In-Camera Double Exposure Portraiture

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

Homage to artists and eras gone by

Pre-Raphaelites and Tahitian Gauguins

Ripe flowers entwined and bold color strokes

Romantic, botanic, double exposure antic

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAProfiles in double exposure, overlaying two images, can amaze and delight you and your subject. Many Fuji, Olympus, and Pentax cameras offer the double exposure mode. Check to see if your camera does.

To begin, set up your camera for this technique described for the Olympus E-M5 in an earlier post of mine (Double Exposures for Double Takes.) For the base exposure, backlight your subject in silhouette against the sky or, if indoors, before a bright clear shade or a clean empty wall to produce a blown out background.


For the superimposed image find the texture or scene that will line up and fill out the silhouetted portrait. I like to use nature images, flowers and leaves, but also print, fabric, even architecture as creative overlays work well. Be prepared for trial and error and hits and misses but also for creating some intriguing portraits. The creative aspects are limitless and the images may resonate with artistic genres and artists of periods past.


All images were shot with Olympus E-M5 and the Olympus Zuiko 45mm, f/1.8 lens. Pre-Raphaelite Girl with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/3.5 and ISO 100, EV -1/3; Sun-shadowed Man with an exposure of 1/4000 sec at f/3.5 and ISO 400; Flowered Woman with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/3.5 and ISO 100, -2/3 EV.