How To Create Double Exposures In Camera

A really fun feature that I recently discovered on my 5D Mark III is the ability to create double exposures in camera- no photoshop required! I watched this great tutorial by Dylan and Sara Photography that walks you through the few simple steps it takes to create these really awesome images. There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to figuring out how to expose and compose the two images you’re looking to overlay, but you’ll find you create some happy accidents along the way. A few digital cameras that can do this are the 5D Mark III, EOS-1D X, EOS 6D, Fujifilm X PRO and most Nikon DSLRs.  The first image below was taken by Sara at a wedding while waiting with the bride while guests were being seated. She played around with the double exposure technique, and the gorgeous result won her a Fearless award.

Double Exposure in Camera- Dylan and Sara PhotographyDouble Exposure in Camera- Dylan and Sara Photography Double Exposure in Camera- Dylan and Sara Photography

As Sara mentioned in the video, here are the descriptions for the Multi-Exposure Controls that you can choose from:

Additive: This is what Sara uses and is most similar to the way film records light. You typically need to  compensate by underexposing a bit.
Average: Compensates for light and averages it out. Use this if you were taking photos of a wide shot of something moving, like a car or a runner.
Bright: Meant for night time. Only the bright spots of the images are composited
Dark: The darker parts of the image are combined and the brighter parts are suppressed

Below is my attempt this past weekend. I have to say, the ‘select image for multiple exposure’ feature is really handy. It allows you to choose a specific base image to perform the double exposure overlay on. This way you’re not forced to only overlay two consecutive images shot. Also, you don’t have to continuously take pictures of your model- you can snap a few and use your favorite portrait. In order to use this feature, choose On:Func/Ctrl in the Multiple Exposures menu. If you do want to continuously shoot and overlay consecutive images, choose On:ContShtng. Another really useful feature for double exposures is live view. Using live view allows you to see the base photo with a live preview overlay. This way you can figure out your overlay composition and framing before you take the shot.

Double Exposure in Camera- Emily Knudsen Photogrpahy

Not only are double exposures fun to play around with, they’re also a really cool technique to incorporate into weddings and other photo shoots for something a little out of the ordinary. Give it a try, and be sure to post your results in the comments below! (Scroll to the bottom of this post for a quick how-to on posting images in the comments section).


    • @disqus_kP6K6Tk1vd:disqus Don’t have one in front of me, but from what I can see from reading online the t3i does not have this functionality built-in so you’d have to be doing it with layers in Photoshop. Hope that helps!

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