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Multiple Exposures with Flowers!

The Multiple Exposure (MX) technique is one method to create some of the most unique photos know to Lomographers! We all love MX, but what are the techniques? Flowers are my favorite subject for MX. I often mix them with landscapes, old factories, trees and so on. Now, let's take a look at how we can create those wonderful images!

A good multiple exposure shot can be created by two clear images with vivid colors. For the above photograph, a picture with a church and another one with tulips are merged together which turns out to be an eye-catching image. It is always good to find something special and unique to your current season. Let’s check out some tips on how to take a better MX shot now!

【What you need】
1. Camera(LC-A+、Holga、Diana、whichever camera with the MX (multiple exposure) function is a must!)
2. Film(Any films are fine, higher ISO is preferable)
3. Splizter is optional

1. About the weather

First of all, it is important to know how much light you would like to expose to your film. The exposure of two images has to be similar so as to create a harmonic MX shot. “Overcast” and “Backlight” weather are the keys.

When you photograph a flower in overcast weather, you will be able to get a better result of the color of the flower petal. Besides that, other exposures on the leaves and stems will be darker. This may help you take a satisfactory MX shot. We can also apply the same rule for landscapes or buildings. It is easier to merge the buildings with the flowers if it’s taken in overcast weather as the exposure of buildings will be the in a lower key.

The best result for an MX shot with buildings can be created with the backlight. The contrast of the picture will be stronger if there is enough sunlight. As the buildings will be turned into silhouettes when the sky (background) is bright. This is an ideal situation for exposing the flower or other objects on the building afterward. (The top photo placed in this article is the one of those examples)

Sunny weather and overcast comparison

2. Flower first? Building first?

This is another common question. To me, it does not matter which comes first. There is not much of a difference between putting a flower first or a building first as I have tried both before. The key is, we need to know that “the brighter exposure shot will appear more than the darker one” on film. As long as you understand the balance between the two, it will be a good MX shot.

The comparison with different photo taking orders

3. What are the criteria of choosing flowers?

You need to be careful when you choose which flower to be photographed. If you pick those with brighter colors (Lilies, Sunflowers, Cosmos, etc…), keep in mind the light can be reflected by the petals, so a strong contrast may result. And If there’s enough light, you may pick flowers in red as well (Roses, Tulips, etc..) However, I will only recommend you to pick those when you are not using red-scale or B&W films. Flowers with darker colors are the least preferable as they can’t reflect much light.

Besides, things around the flowers are crucial too. As if they are in a sharper or brighter color than the flowers, the focus of the picture may change.

Comparison with different flowers

4. How to choose the background and/or landscape

As long as you are in the situation of overcast or backlight, do not worry too much about the rest. Though remember to pick the darker background/landscape to merge together with the flower. For example, white buildings are not good choices (such as a church for instance). We shall pick instead with the shape, and how good the line of the building is.

5. How to shoot

※Let’s assume we are using LC-A+ with ISO 100 slide film.

・How to shoot the flower

If the flower is not tall, let’s photograph above it with which a better framing will result. Including the sky in your photo is not recommended as it may be too bright and affect the desired MX effect. When the flower is small, turn the focusing mode to the 0.8m and try to capture the flower as close as you can. If the objects around the flowers are dark, you should exclude them from the picture too!

ISO setting depends on the light source. The image I posted above is shot with ISO 200. Since there was enough sunlight, it was bright enough (distance mode was 0.8m as well)

How to take a shot of a flower

・How to take a shot of buildings/landscapes

The most important thing for this part is to beware of the shape and outline of the building. The color does not matter too much since we are going to merge it with another image. You need to frame the building with a good angle. The first image in this article is taken with ISO 100 for the building part, but again, it depends on the light condition at that time.

Only if you would like to emphasize the details of a building, you may need to adjust the setting for the exposure slightly. If you are confused, shoot with different ISO settings. That’s what I usually do!

Refer to the photos below – the ISO setting makes a huge difference on resulting images.

Exposure Comparison

6. Use the splitzer

By using the splitzer, you can take MX shots in an easier way and more interesting results can be obtained.

・Hide the part you would like to exclude in the picrture
You can avoid the extra surrounding areas when you photograph the flowers by using splitzer. You can also use it to hide the half frame, and shoot flowers with another half later. As a result, you can increase the amount of flowers in the photo.

Hide the part you do not like by using splitzer

・Expose the landscape symmetrically
By using a splitzer, you will be able to take the landscape twice by holding your camera upside down. Therefore, you can get a symmetrical image before merging the flower above it.

For the image below, I shot the factory twice symmetrically, and I took another shot of flower above it. And the photo turned out to be really cool!

Triple exposure by using splitzer

Do you understand more about MX after reading this entry?
Let’s try MX! You will have so much fun when you get a satisfactory result! Whenever you see something beautiful like flowers, or scenery, that will be an opportunity for you to capture them all with your new-found knowledge on MX!

Enjoy your MX life!

written by hodachrome and translated by whynotwinnipeg


  1. trincheiras


    clean and simple :) thank u!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. coca


    thanks @hodachrome for this amazing tipster and thanks @whynotwinnipeg for the translation :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. phalanx


    Great tipster! I love the flower-effect http://www.lomograph(…)os/16918953

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. twinklecat


    Gorgeous photos! Thank you!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. oramasalexander


    Finally a well explained how-to c: Thank you!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. renenob


    @whynotwinnipeg, pls translate @hodachrome 's other articles. Thanks! hehe!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. djramsay


    Really great tipster, my test - http://www.lomograph(…)os/15719599

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. eva_eva


    amazing tipster!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. lomogronverse


    Useful Tips ^_^

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. adi_totp


    wohooo!! thanks!!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. mochilis


    Wow, perfect! Thanks

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. hodachrome


    I really appreciate your translating, @whynotwinnipeg :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  13. whynotwinnipeg


    My pleasure! Will work on other articles as well:) cheers:)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  14. guanatos


    wow thanks for taking the time to write and share this It's amazing!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  15. sudhashunmu


    amazing article

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  16. rhysbm


    WOW. Amazing tipster, really detailed, can't wait to try it out with the holga. To bad there arn't many flowers this time of year :( oh well, great article anyways.!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  17. sapphire-st


    Most Amazing MX Tipster!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  18. cyeo

    Very helpful instructions for this newbie. Thanks!
    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  19. irhamesar


    thank's for this tipster :D

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. qrro


    great article!!!

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  21. kimpy05


    This is the most extensive tipster I have ever read. You should publish a book containing all your helpful tips.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  22. skyshooter


    What to say ? thank you :D

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  23. hervinsyah


    Agree with kimpy05, should published the book

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  24. awkward-otter


    *grabs cameras and runs outside*
    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  25. bisilala


    once again, super useful tipster!

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  26. rebeccabecky


    Thanks for the tipster =) It's so clear & helpful.
    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  27. sandraj

    Amazing photos, very inspirational.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  28. ihave2pillows


    You are giving away all your trade secrets!! lol Awesome :)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  29. aboutbia_


    Thanks a lot! Really helpful (:
    over 1 year ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

The original version of this article is written in: 日本語. It is also available in: Русский, Spanish, 中文(繁體版), 中文(简体版) & Italiano.