3 Tips for Multiple Exposures


This is a guest post on 3 Tips for Multiple Exposures by wedding photographer Carsten Schertzer

Multiple exposures are my go to technique for getting epic wedding images quick, fast and in a hurry. I mean let’s be honest, sometimes the wedding venue is just plain boring, and other times we don’t have more than just a few minutes to get the shots we need.

The only thing about a wedding day that is for sure, is that is it our responsibility to get amazing images, every single wedding, regardless of the circumstances.

For me, that is where multiple exposures come in. I can do them anywhere, anytime, with any client and usually get a pretty amazing image no matter the circumstances.

In this article I wanted to go over 3 ways that you can use multiple exposures to create some truly unique images that will blow your clients’ minds!

[Want to learn more? Check out Multiple Exposures: A Complete Guide]

What is a Multiple Exposure?

In technical terms, a multiple exposure is the superimposition of two or more exposures to create a single image.

Multiple exposures were originally done in film photography by exposing the same film negative multiple times to create an overlaid image.

These days multiple exposures can be created with digital cameras by exposing the camera’s digital sensor two or more times and then overlaying those frames into a single image.

Overlaying multiple exposures is one of the oldest forms of “trick photography” and is responsible for many of history’s “unexplainable” photographs.

Like those old-timey ghost photos from the 18th century, but instead of haunted images, today I’m gonna try to show you a few ways to make cool looking wedding photos.

Multiple Exposure Tip #1 | Shift White Balance


Nikon D5 | Nikon 35mm f/1.8G |  1/800th | F/4.0 | ISO 320

As the name implies, when doing a multiple exposure you are just combining 2 or more exposures into a single image. You can add a ton of visual interest to your multiple exposure by using different white balances between each frame to create a strong color that otherwise would not exist.

The image above is made up of two exposures: the first exposure is of the bokeh which was originally just a white color. I shifted my cameras white balance to 2500K, forcing the camera to introduce the blue color into the exposure.

Then the second exposure was the silhouette which I created uses the Magmod Creative Orange Gel, I used the orange gel knowing that the orange would contrast nicely with the blue bokeh.

Multiple Exposure Tip #2 | Mix Focal Lengths


Nikon D5 | Nikon 35mm 1.8G | 1/640th | F/2.2 | ISO 400

Very similar to shifting while balance to add color, you can also vary your focal lengths between exposures to force perspective in ways that add a ton of visual interest and might otherwise be impossible without the use of multiple exposures.

This photo was actually five exposures combined into one. Four of those exposures were of the bokeh and the fifth exposure was of the couple.

This is an example of both mixing the focal length between exposures and also mixing the white balance between exposures.

The first exposure was with my camera set to 10,000K white balance and zoomed in to 200mm, the second exposure was 10,000K at 70mm; the third exposure was 2,500K white balance at 200mm; and the fourth exposure was 2,500K at 200mm.

Multiple Exposure Tip #3 | Tell The Story


Nikon D5 | Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G | 1/250th | F/5.6 | ISO 800

Another really cool thing about multiple exposures is that you can use them to your advantage when it comes to telling the story of a wedding day.

You can include multiple visual elements from various scenes and combine them in a way that contributes to the story.

In this photo I’ve been able to not only create an interesting photo using multiple exposures, but also contribute to the story of the image by including the iconic U.S. Bank Tower building in downtown Los Angeles.

By adding in that element it adds another layer of interest to the image because it allows the viewer to infer not only what is happening in the image, but also where and when the image was taken – also note the white balance differences between each exposure ;-)

Multiple Exposure Tips | Learn More


Multiple Exposures are usually my go-to technique when I am struggling with creativity and need an impressive shot fast, or when the venue is less than ideal for creating amazing images.

I do them so often that I actually wrote an enire ebook on the topic, that breaks down everything you need to know to create amazing multiple exposures yourself.

Multiple Exposures: A Complete Guide is packed full of all the tools, techniques and tricks you need to know to create epic award winning wedding images using in camera multiple exposures.

Everything from setting up your camera, understanding how multiple exposures work, the thought process behind my technique and I even give video breakdowns of my most popular multiple exposures.

If you ever find yourself struggling to be creative on a wedding day, or giving into the pressures of time restrictions. This book is for you! You can learn more about the ebook here.


Carsten Schertzer is an award winning wedding photographer based in Los Angeles

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