‘‘What are multiple exposures?’’ we hear film newbies cry! Well, they occur when you expose two or more images on a single frame. Perhaps you've seen these amazing photos and wondered, ‘‘How the hell did they do that?’’ The truth is, shooting multiple exposures is easy-peasy, and they’re also really fun to make, because no two images will ever be alike.
We’ll be using the Lomo LC-A+ to demonstrate, but these tips are also applicable to any Lomography camera with the ‘‘MX’’ button. So don’t be daunted by multiple exposure magicians you see out there, if you follow this quick guide, you’ll be doubling up your frames like a pro in no time.
Adjusting Your ISO
First things first, it’s important to keep in mind that you will be exposing your film more than once on the same frame. This means you need to underexpose each shot by one stop, which only applies if you have a fully manual camera (like an SLR). But if you're using a Lomography camera such as a Lomo LC-A+, you can underexpose by setting your ISO one stop lower. For example: if you're using an ISO 400 film, set the LC-A+ on ISO 800. Underexposing is necessary so that your shots won't be blown out.
Sure, it can be tempting to shoot spontaneously — and, we’re guilty of our own ‘’don’t think just shoot’’ mantra — but it helps to plan your multiple exposures ahead if you're just starting out. Once you get the hang of it, you can get a little bit more ambitious with your experimental antics. For your first roll, practice shooting textures, portraits, and silhouettes in one frame. Don't forget to enable the multiple exposure mode by sliding the MX switch at the bottom of your Lomo LC-A+.
Capture your subject against the light (and preferably with a plain, light background) to create a silhouette. Then shoot textures like flowers, clouds, or any repeating pattern. The idea is to fill up the silhouette or the dark parts of the image with interesting backdrops.
Playing with Contrasts
The most effective double and multiple exposures come to life when there contrasting visual elements at play. Use conflicting aesthetics to your advantage: using flash on one shot and no flash on the other to experiment with light and shadow, strong subjects with delicate details, smooth natural surfaces against man-made angular points ... you get the idea! Let your imagination run wild and see how satisfying it is to strike the perfect balance of antithetical subjects.
Still scratching your head? Head over to this dedicated microsite for the full lowdown on multiple exposure magic. And once you’ve shot your very own multiple exposure masterpieces, don’t forget to keep us in the loop by uploading them to your LomoHome and tagging your shots with ‘‘Lomo LC-A’’ and ‘‘MX’’.