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Get Creative with Multiple Exposures

Using the Multiple Exposure mode

Multiple exposures have been around for almost as long as photography itself and almost certainly came about as much by accident as by design. In the early days of photography, exposures often took many minutes, so any subject or camera movement during the time the shutter was open would cause a distinctive ‘ghosting’ or ‘double impression’ effect. This also occurred when a camera’s shutter opened twice or more on the same frame, exposing it more than once.

Many early photographers were only interested in documenting the world as their eyes saw it, and to them multiple exposures were a hazard. Others saw multiple exposures as an opportunity: a way to present a more artistic view, where reality could be turned on its head and a new way of seeing created. In the digital age, multiple exposures are more popular than ever and while many are created in image-editing software like Photoshop, it’s fun to take the traditional approach of doing it in camera. Fujifilm’s X-series cameras offer a smart, easy way to do this.

Multiple Exposure

How X-series makes it easy

When shooting multiple exposures on film, tricky mental arithmetic was involved because you had to work out the overall exposure settings, then divide that shutter speed by however many times you wanted to expose the film; do it wrong and you’d end up with an under or overexposed picture. What’s more, some guesswork was involved wherein you had to watch out for clashing elements in the scene that could spoil composition. Fortunately for X-series users, these concerns are a thing of the past, because using the screen as your guide you can make a perfect assessment of how the final image will look; you simply shoot the first exposure, then compose the second with it overlaid on the screen.

Multiple Exposure 

Creative ideas

Once you’re comfortable with shooting in Multiple Exposure mode, you’ll have a great time experimenting with different subjects and styles. For instance, try shooting your subject with the first exposure, then overlay it using a texture of cloud-scape with the second. It’s also a good idea to try shooting from a tripod; with the camera’s position locked off, static parts of the scene will look like a regular photo, while moving parts will turn into ghosts. Have fun!

How it’s activated

  • First turn the main Mode dial to Adv. (Advanced), then use the sub-command dial to set your desired aperture and shutter speed combination; Advanced mode is like Program mode in that the camera chooses the optimum settings, but you can still bias the aperture, shutter speed, ISO or exposure compensation.
  • Next press the MENU/OK button, select the Adv. MODE in the Shooting menu and choose MULTIPLE EXPOSURE.
  • Hit OK, then BACK to return and you’ll see overlapping squares in the bottom left of the screen showing you’re in the right mode. Now you’re ready to shoot.
  • Frame up and shoot your first image and it will be displayed on screen.
  • Hit left on the D-pad to cancel and try again, or if you’re happy with it, press OK to move onto the next shot.
  • Now, using the screen as a real-time guide, frame your second shot. At this point you can also change the shutter speed, aperture, ISO and most importantly the Exposure Compensation, making sure the two exposures work together and aren’t too light or dark.
  • Shoot and once again, you’ll have the opportunity to cancel and try the second shot again or hit OK to confirm.

That’s all there is to it!

4 replies »

  1. I make use of the x-t20. Making multiple exposures is easy with this camera.
    But making such an picture of e.g. a human, all I see are ‘ghosts’ situated on the background as result.
    After the 1st picture is taken, the image on the display is OK (normal). But after the 2nd picture is taken andere pressing ‘OK’, I only see ‘ghosts’ in stead of the photographed person as the end result.
    Is this correct result (as intended by this feature) or am I doing something wrong? Who can help / advise me?

    Like

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