The Basics of Analogue Multiple Exposure, Part 1
Today, you will learn one technique for how to make your own analogue multiple exposures using just three things: 35mm film, a manual 35mm film camera, and a marker.
I will show the basics of two techniques which offer very different approaches, yielding a spectrum of creative potential. I will start with the technique that I commonly use and call ‘The Move’. If you are a Seinfeld fan then you’ll get the reference.
I call the second technique ‘Stop Short’, which will have to wait for another article.
Materials for In Camera Multiple Exposure
black and white or color film (100 ISO for this experiment)
a manual film camera
creative inspiration – the most important ingredient!
Notes About Materials
For Black and White negative film, I often use Ilford FP4 ISO, Agfa APX, Ilford Delta, Fomapan Classic, and TMAX but as long as the film is 100 ISO then you are golden. Higher than 100 ISO and you will have a hard time underexposing the film especially during the day. If you plan to shoot at night, then above 100 ISO would work fine.
For color, I use color slide film like Agfa Precisa or Ektachrome. Fuji Velvia and Provia work well for sharpness but the images can sometimes appear too blue because of ‘exposure latitude’. If you are new to color and color theory, and want to play safe, then stick with black and white film for this project. For the wild at heart, try color. Kodak Portra 160 ISO is worth a try for the color negative fans.
As for film camera, use a manual film camera. An automatic film camera doesn’t work well because it will automatically wind the film forward and rewind the film all the way back into the canister when you reach the exposure.
I use a Pentax K1000 for this demonstration.
First Technique : The Move
Loading the Film for the First Exposure Layer
1. Open the camera case.
4. Insert film canister.
How to Rewind the Film and Reload it for the Second + Exposure Layers
When you arrive at the last film frame, you begin to rewind the film. To ensure you don’t rewind the film all the way into the film canister follow these steps:
11. Open the camera back.
12. Repeat Steps 1 – 6.
It’s up to you on how many exposure layers you want to add to the film. This is where you get to be creative and experiment with layers!
Try out different variations and see for yourself what works and doesn’t work. In a future article, I will write about what I learned from 15 years of taking multiple exposures. You can get all my secrets about how I do ‘The Move’, swirl and all.
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Note About Exposure and Light Meter
A rule of thumb for exposure is slightly underexpose the first and the second layers, especially if you will take more than two exposure layers. If you take just two layers, then slightly underexpose the first layer but normally expose the second.