Project 52, Week 12: Duality

One of my goals with Project 52 is to try new things - new techniques, new subjects, etc. I've never done a double exposure photograph before, so I thought it was time to fix that. 

Double exposure (DE) images are a hit or miss. But, if it's done correctly, the resulting image can be quite interesting. The basic technique behind these images is to expose your film twice in two separate times. Thus, getting two different images on one slide. 

It's an easy thing to do with film cameras, but digital cameras are only just starting to feature this capability. Probably the reason for the slow adoption is because double exposures can easily be accomplished in Photoshop. But, since the trend is leaning toward more traditional styles in photography, the camera manufacturers are starting to listen to their consumer demands more. 

For this DE I chose to incorporate both traditional and digital techniques. Basically, I skipped the Photoshop step of combining exposures and did everything right in camera. (Well, ok. I did do some basic exposure and contrast modifications and converted the image to black and white in Lightroom.)

First, to shoot a DE you need two subjects. I used a pine tree and myself. Second, you need to think about exposure. When you combine two exposures, they are going to added to each other. So, underexposing a bit is a must. Anything pure white will translate still as pure white and anything gray will gradually blend into black.  

For my subjects, I made sure each was backlit and slightly underexposed by about a half stop. That way where the darker colors overlap, they turn black, but the white will remain white.  My first shot is of the top of a pine tree with a bright overcast sky behind it. The second shot is of me with a white sweep behind me and the camera flipped upside down. I tilted my head back a little to let some of the backlit brush my face. The rest of me remained in heavy silhouette. 

I know, sounds confusing.  But, here is the result. 

It's definitely a bizarre looking image. And very symbolic, I think. What do you suppose it means? ;)