Double exposure requires a bit of skill and a whole lot of common sense. And for a first-timer, it can be doubly hard but nevertheless, doubly fun.
It doesn’t take a connoisseur of analogue photography to understand the basic concept of a double exposure: the superimposition of two images in a single frame. The very idea is just so inviting and thrilling that some would just jump right into it without much thought on how to go about the technique. Needless to say, I am a poster girl for the impulsive analogue junkies.
I shot an entire expired roll of Fuji Superia 100 during my trip to Bantayan Island in Cebu City and kept it in my drawer to double expose it during my Iloilo-Bacolod getaway the month after. The only double exposure ‘maxim’ I bore in mind was to set negative exposure compensation. I wasn’t 100% certain what that meant so what I did was underexpose to -2 EV compensation during the second round of exposure.
While waiting for my prints to arrive, I anticipated for the worst case scenario which was a sad bunch of overexposed images. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t the exposure that I didn’t get right; it was the framing! I failed to consider that wide-angled shots will expose an entirely different length of frame in the film and double exposing in non-panoramic shots will yield poorly displaced images.
However, the beauty of analogue photography is that chaos can become art; amid the mishap were stunning images.
A little cropping also helped salvage a good portion of the film.
Indeed, there is always a first time for everything. And those times offer one of the best learning opportunities.