Sara Byrne is half of the husband-and-wife team, Sara K. Byrne Photography based out of Boise, ID. We saw Sara's tutorial on creating in-camera double exposures with her 5D Mark III and thought it might be something all of you might enjoy! The following is a snippet from her tutorial, which she was kind enough to share with us, and you can view it in its entirety here.
Multiple Exposures: What are they?
Double exposure is a technique that originated with film photography where you would expose the same frame of film twice (or more). Film can only be exposed to light so much before it will stop recording information. So the part of the film that was darker after first exposure will be most receptive to the light from the second click. It’s typically good to underexpose both photos, because you are exposing the "film" or "sensor" to light twice.
Some tips for the 5D Mark III – It almost feels like cheating:
Live View: Whoa. Live View makes these almost too easy. If you are using this camera and get nothing else from this other than "USE LIVE VIEW!" I’ll be happy. I only recently discovered how live view works with multiple exposures… and it is incredible. This allows you to see the base photo with the live preview overlay. Seriously amazing. (I didn’t know this for the first 6 months I took these.. no more need to memorize the base image’s framing!)
Pick your base image: You don’t have to take two consecutive images. WHAAA? Another thing I recently discovered. Canon allows you to select an image as a starting point. If you don’t have a long time to work with the subject you can just snap a few silhouettes and use them later. You can take all your base images (silhouettes or otherwise) and use them later to overlay a second image for a double exposure. As long as they are on your card (unedited RAW and from the same camera model) you can use them.
This camera allows you to save all images (2+ base images and result) in RAW form. This is neat because you can go back and look at your settings to learn what works best for you… or have useable images for more attempts.
I’m not going to go through all the menus step by step here because I go through them in the video tutorial, but I will explain a little about the options.
Func/Ctrl – Use this for most cases, it allows you to pick your base image before shooting.
ContShtng – Use if you want to do sports composites, like if you wanted to shoot someone running or doing a snowboard jump.
Multi-Exposure ctrl: (how/what is composited)
Additive: What I use. This is most similar to the way film records light. Typically need to compensate by underexposing a bit.
Average: Compensates for light and averages it out. Use this if you were taking photos of a wide shot of something moving like a car or a runner.
Bright: Meant for night time, only the bright spots of the images are composited
Dark: The darker parts of the image are combined and the brighter parts are supressed