One of my first 100 Day Projects was 100 Days of Double Exposure, which I repeated about a year later. Working with double exposure photography appealed to my desire for challenge and to learn that which attracts and awes me. Today, both Canon and Nikon cameras offer the ability to shoot a photo and combine it later with another image, in-camera. At the time of my project, Nikon digital cameras did not have that feature and so I created all my double exposure photos using the old-fashioned method of shooting and guessing. Since I was using a digital camera, I could look at the back of the camera to see if what I had shot was successful and do it over if not. But I loved the challenge of creating images basically blind, and trying to quickly come up with both composition and proper exposure to create something interesting. My camera, which was the d800e, would allow only a few seconds between first shot and second, so I had to come up with both layers of the image within seconds. Preplanning is key! As I got deeper into the project, I tried creating a “double exposure” in Photoshop and didn’t care for it at all. Using that process sapped away all the energy of the challenge for me, it felt like cheating. To be honest, to this day I think that even the in-camera option to take an old image and lay it over another, and preview the composition before you ever click the shutter, feels like cheating. The challenge of the double-exposure is that you are blind to the outcome, and that your composition is the creation of your recollection and chance. If I am perfectly honest, though,, if I didn’t care for the result when I looked at the back of the camera after my shot, I could do it over and over again until I got a result I liked. And yet, my heart pounded each time I created a shot. Clock ticking, first subject, second subject. Did I et it riht? It felt like a gift each time I made an image that felt right. That little bit of adrenaline, when you take up a challenge - there’s nothing like it.
Denver editorial photographer - creating visual content for newspaper stories, magazines, and online media.