Double Exposure on 35mm Film

I wanted to write about how to take double exposures and what techniques I want to try. I looked at numerous blogs and websites and collected information that I thought might help me.

Things to remember:

Avoid Overexposure by Underexposing Multiple Images- The more times you expose the film the more light is let through the camera lens, therefore more light hits the film. The image will get lighter and lighter as more exposures are made. For example, if you are exposing two images on a single frame, you should set your first shot for a slight underexposure and the second shot for even more underexposure so the image isn’t bleached out.

‘Because it’s exposing the film twice you’ll have better results in lower lighting conditions. If your camera has fstop settings, you can get more detail if underexpose by 1 stop.’

Andre De Freitas

Andre De Freitas.

Black or dark areas in the first image will be a ‘blank canvas’ in the second image. It hasn’t been exposed to much light so in the second image you should consider what will fill this area.

‘Shadows on one exposure will allow the details to show through from the second exposure. You can compose your double exposure by keeping a mental note and lining up shadows and highlights.’



Keep the images simple, busy backgrounds can make the image crowded and hard to see. If you plan ahead it is easier to decide what images will go well with what.

You can either take a roll of images then go to the dark room and rewind the film and then take another set of images on the same roll. This is more unexpected and the pictures, unless you remembered all the photos you originally took, will be hit and miss.

Or you can use the ‘three finger method’, So you take the exposures for one image at the same time. This makes it easier to plan and organise the image.

First, depress and hold the rewind button on the bottom of the camera.
Second, use one finger to keep pressure on the rewind knob.
Third, gently advance the film advance lever. If you don’t feel any resistance on the rewind knob continue until the shutter is set and ready to be released. Now make the second exposure. NOTE: If you feel any resistance STOP! You’ll either tear the film or damage the film advance mechanism.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: