How to create a double exposure in camera (with Canon 5D Mark 3)

There are already tutorials and blogs on this subject, but sometimes a new explanation hits someone just the right way and a lightbulb goes off. I’m a trial and error kind of girl. My first attempt at these didn’t go so well. But the more I try them, the better they get and the more I love creating them!

The pics in this blog will be from the back of my camera and I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark 3. I’m sure other cameras have this capability but this is the one I’ve used to create these.

The first step is to find the multiple exposure setting in the menu. It’s disabled by default so you’ll have to enable it.

Next, I set mine to “additive” and “2 exposures”. (Additive is the similar to how film records light and in my opinion it’s the easiest way to learn how to do these.)

You can either take your first image now or you can find an image you’ve already taken and use it as your base image. (Only RAW images can be used.) Your first image should be taken against a white background. If I don’t have a white wall nearby I typically shoot my subject’s profile into the sky. (Squat low and shoot up so you only get sky around the subject.) In my last (and favorite) double exposure, we were shooting on a white wall so it worked perfectly. Here is my first image:

The coolest part is that you can now put your camera in live mode by hitting the start/stop button while you’re still in camera mode. In other words, don’t flip the switch to video mode. Leave it in camera mode and just push the start/stop button. On your screen you’ll be able to see the image you’ve chosen for the base of your multiple exposure. You can see exactly where to fill the subject with another image.

I decided to flip my camera from landscape to portrait and took this as my second image:

Because I was in live mode I could see exactly where I wanted the building to fill Jenel’s profile. And this is what I ended up with:

Just a hint about my post production… I brought my whites all the way up. It got rid of any “extra” from my second image and gave me a beautiful clean, white background. Exposure and shadows were brought down to create really rich colors.

 

 

I hope this helps someone who’s curious or has tried and hasn’t quite figured it out yet. These are so much fun once you get the hang of it. Shoot me an email and let me see yours! hello@trishalacoste.com

 

 

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