Multiple Exposure Photography (Tutorial)


Multiple Exposure Photography

A Knowhow Guide from Gulfu Photography




What is a multiple exposure?

A multiple exposure is a technique wherein two images are photographed, one on top of another. Back in the days when film was used, this technique was done by taking one photograph, then leaving the film in the same place and taking another photograph on top of it, before moving on to the next frame. If you take or edit a multiple exposure photograph in Black and White, you get better results. Why so? Because you wouldn’t have to think in-depth about color theory and the like.


How can I take a multiple exposure photograph using a camera that has got built-in multiple exposure setting?


1)      You must turn on the multiple exposure setting on your camera. For each camera, the multiple exposure will be located in a different area. For first timers, you can check the instruction manual or just Google and find it.

2)       You must turn Auto-Gain OFF, if that is possible. The reason to do so is because Auto-Gain automatically attempts to neutralize the EV if you are taking high-key nature portraits.

3)      You must put your camera in Aperture Priority mode and the select your F number (used by gulfu).

4)       Metering mode should be on Spot Metering  .

5)      To take the first shot, you must center the Auto-Focus point and take your picture. It is best to keep the background almost 100% white when taking your picture. If you are outdoor, you can get a white background by having the sky in the background behind your head (try having the sun directly behind your head lined up with the lens). If you are indoor, you can try using flash against the wall to create a silhouette and achieve best result.

6)      To take the second shot, increase the Exposure Compensation to about +2 EV (an estimate) and take the picture of the background you want. Make sure that the background is close to 100% white for this shot also. Before taking both the shots, its better if you experiment for yourself and see which setting gives you the best result with a totally white background. Each situation for taking the shot will be different based on where you are. Whatever setting you try, the background must be 100% white and not gray.

7)      Now that you have taken both the shots, it will automatically stack up and show up on your LCD screen. Try taking different multiple exposure shots and look for that perfect shot. Note that in some cameras, the multiple exposure feature might turn off after taking a shot. So you must turn it ON again before trying out.





How can I create a multiple exposure photograph using Adobe Photoshop?


1)      You must first create a new Photoshop document. Drag and drop the 2 images that you have selected into the Photoshop document. The two images will show up in the bottom right in the Layers Palette as two layers.

2)      You must select the top layer and then select “SCREEN” for the blending mode. You can also optionally try and use “MULTIPLY” mode (this mode darkens instead of lightening).

3)      You can use the Dodge tool to whiten up the background if your selected image does not have 100% white background.

4)      You can adjust the Curves of the image by raising the left-most lower point upwards vertically a little. Then raise the right-most lower point upwards vertically a little. You can replicate the same adjustments to individual color channels in the same Curves adjustment window (Red, Blue, Green).

5)      Finally, save the file as 8-Bit JPEG.




You can email your multiple exposure shots to and get your photograph evaluated. For any further doubts about taking a multiple exposure shot, you can email me and get your doubts cleared. Enjoy clicking and keep following Gulfu Photography.



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