Double Exposure Portraits with the Canon 5DIII

Vermont Wedding & Portrait Photographer | © Amy Donohue Photography

I was first introduced to double exposures through a tutorial offered on the Project Life 365 blog by Ravi Vora using an iphone and various apps.  I thought the images were really creative and cool but never had a chance to really try it out.  Then, one day I stumble upon the blog of Dylan and Sarah Photography, a husband and wife team with an insane amount of talent for wedding portraiture living on the west coast.  Sarah had blogged about how she created an image for which she received a Fearless Award for by creating a double exposure using her Canon 5DIII.  For those who don’t know, double exposure isn’t new, in fact, it originated with film and Sarah explains all this in her blog post.  Sarah’s tutorial (with video) made it seem so easy that I wanted to give it a try.

Fast forward to now and I’m attempting, along with some other very talented photographers, to get in the frame more often and let go of my insecurities of being on this side of the lens. First off it’s challenging just to get in front of the camera when you’re way more comfortable on the other side taking photos of everything you see as beautiful. It’s not easy letting go of what I perceive to be imperfections within myself. Secondly, it’s hard to be creative each week doing self-portraits and for me, my creativity is at an all-time low during those last winter months when all I can think of is winter ending and seeing signs of spring.

For this particular photo, I thought it might be fun try something different and try a double exposure. I had no preconceived idea of what I was capturing. I just set up my camera on my tripod and did a few test shots in double exposure mode and then tried a few different things. I ended up trashing lots of them but loved how this one turned out. This is why I love digital photography, there is no cost involved in experimenting and trying new things. It makes me realize I need to give this a go more often and just see where it takes me. Who know, maybe I’ll end up creating something I love like this self-portrait.


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