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Creating multiple exposures

From: Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III

Video: Creating multiple exposures

In the old days of film shooting, if you ever forgot to advance the film in your camera, then you would end up shooting multiple images onto the same piece of film, resulting in a weird composite image. Eventually, the camera makers engineered their cameras so that it was not possible to accidentally create multiple exposures, but by that point, it was to late; all the artsy types had already decided that multiple exposures were a very cool effect. You can create multiple exposures in your camera right now using the multiple exposure feature. To create a multiple exposure with your 5D, go into the menu, and work your way over to the third page of the shooting category. Down at the bottom, you'll see something called Multiple exposure.

Creating multiple exposures

In the old days of film shooting, if you ever forgot to advance the film in your camera, then you would end up shooting multiple images onto the same piece of film, resulting in a weird composite image. Eventually, the camera makers engineered their cameras so that it was not possible to accidentally create multiple exposures, but by that point, it was to late; all the artsy types had already decided that multiple exposures were a very cool effect. You can create multiple exposures in your camera right now using the multiple exposure feature. To create a multiple exposure with your 5D, go into the menu, and work your way over to the third page of the shooting category. Down at the bottom, you'll see something called Multiple exposure.

It defaults to being Disabled, of course. I need to enable it, and configure it. There are a lot of different things you can do with this command. First of all, I need to tell it that I want it turned on, but there are two different ons. The first one is for shooting still objects, like I have here. We have built a scene here with two different objects, and I'm going to merge them together, and along the way, it's going to give me a lot of really cool feedback for building a composition. The second one is for continuous shooting; going into Drive mode, and quickly firing off a burst of images, usually of a moving subject, and letting the camera put them all together.

So maybe I've got a bicyclist that's moving through frame; it would take a picture here, and here, and here, and here, and then merge them all together. So I'm going to pick this one, because it's better suited to my still subject matter. There are lots of different ways of digitally combining images, and that's what's going to happen here; I'm going to have two digital images that need to be composited. You can see I've got these four different methods. If you've ever worked with blending modes in Photoshop, then this should be familiar to you. These are simply different ways that the numeric values in each image can be combined.

If you look on page 178 of your 5D manual, you'll see descriptions of all of these. I'm going to go with Dark right now, because that's going to be the best for the subject matter that I'm working with, and this is going to give us a fairly clean composite. Next, I need to tell it how many pictures I want in this particular multiple exposure; I want 2. I can save all of the source images; that is, the two shots that I'm going to take, plus the final composite, or I can save the Result only. I'm just going to go with the Result only, because I think the original images are actually going to be kind of boring. I won't need them.

Finally, I have this: Continue Multiple-exposure. It defaults to Continuously, which means when I'm done shooting this two shot multiple exposure, the camera will simply stay in this mode with these parameters, so that I can just go right into doing another one. What's nice is that Canon has given you the option of saying, no, when I'm done with this one, turn off the multiple exposure thing. This is a great way of protecting yourself from forgetting that you're in multiple exposure mode, and accidentally starting another one. So I'm going to go here.

You might want to use this if you think, well, I'm not sure that I can get this right on the first try; I'm going to want to really be experimenting with this. But I'm feeling confident that I can nail this one. Finally, it won't always be the case that I want to create a multiple exposure out of things that are in the location that I'm at right now. Maybe I want to combine something that is in front of me right now with something I shot somewhere else earlier. If that's the case, I can choose this: Select image for multiple exposure. This lets me pick an image that I've already shot as my first image. I will still be doing only a 2 shot multiple exposure, in this case, but the first image will be one that I select right now; the second one will be one that I shoot.

Obviously, that's not relevant to what I'm going to do here. So I'm going to half-press the shutter button to accept all of those, and I'm going to turn on live view, so that you can watch what I'm doing. Live view is not necessary for multiple exposures, but it's going to make it easier for you to see how I'm setting this up, and also, if you do this with live view, you get some really cool additional aids for building your multiple exposure. So the first thing I'm going to do is just frame my shot, just like I normally would. Really, right now all I'm doing is all the same normal photography that I would always do.

I'm thinking about focus; I'm going to focus right there on the end of the lens. I'm thinking about exposure, so I've got my lens open all the way to try and get some shallow depth of field. I'm just doing all of my normal photographic process, and I'm metering, and taking my shot. A couple of things happen now. This icon starts flashing on the status display to indicate that I'm in the middle of a multiple exposure. It's also flashing back here. And something else really cool happens, which you'll see as soon as I move the camera.

It's giving me a semi-opaque version of the shot that I just took. This makes it much easier to compose my composite. I can get this merged with these flowers exactly the way that I want, and when I get it where I want it, I think about taking this shot. Now, just because I'm seeing this camera here, remember, I still need to think about all of my other photographic concerns. So I'm going to make sure that it focuses on this part of the flower, I'm going to half-press to focus and meter, and now I'm going to take my second shot.

And it's going to think for a moment, show me a quick review, tell me it's busy, and then I'm back to normal shooting. But I'm no longer in multiple exposure mode, because I asked the camera to bail out of it when I was done taking the shot. So let's do a quick image review here, and see what this looks like. I'm going to drop into playback, and zoom in here, but we don't want to zoom in that far. So you can see that it has merged these two images, and where there are darker pixels in my second image, they override lighter pixels that were underneath, so it's really just laid the other right on top.

Other modes are going to create more of a blend. So this is a really interesting way of getting some abstract stuff in camera. Now, of course, I could set the same thing up in Photoshop. I could shoot my two images, put them in layers, and merge them together. What's nice about this is there's a little bit of a random element to it, so it's more like shooting multiple exposures used to be. Plus, if I use the Continuous option, I have the ability to very quickly create multiple exposures of a moving object, taking different slices of time, and merging them into a single image.

So to get a handle on this, take a look at the manual, and do a little practicing with it. You'll probably find it's an interesting thing to play with.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III
Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III

108 video lessons · 21243 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 10m 29s
    1. Welcome
      2m 16s
    2. What is an SLR?
      5m 28s
    3. A note for 5D Mark II users
      50s
    4. Using this course
      1m 55s
  2. 35m 44s
    1. Exploring basic camera anatomy
      5m 28s
    2. Attaching a lens to your camera
      4m 3s
    3. Examining batteries and media cards
      8m 35s
    4. Powering up
      1m 49s
    5. Exploring the menu system
      2m 53s
    6. Clearing all settings
      2m 5s
    7. Setting the date and time
      1m 55s
    8. Setting the language
      1m 42s
    9. Formatting the media card
      3m 4s
    10. Holding the camera
      4m 10s
  3. 25m 6s
    1. Setting Scene Intelligent Auto mode
      1m 28s
    2. Exploring the viewfinder display
      5m 51s
    3. Touring the LCD screen and the status display
      2m 22s
    4. Exploring the top-mounted control buttons
      1m 42s
    5. Autofocus basics
      5m 7s
    6. Metering basics
      1m 42s
    7. Reviewing images
      2m 59s
    8. Working with image playback
      3m 55s
  4. 39m 32s
    1. Exploring Program mode
      41s
    2. Working with exposure compensation
      5m 2s
    3. Using the lock switch
      1m 21s
    4. Revisiting metering
      1m 43s
    5. Changing the ISO
      2m 14s
    6. Looking at ISO speed settings
      4m 36s
    7. Exploring long exposure noise reduction
      2m 53s
    8. Exploring high ISO noise reduction
      1m 40s
    9. Using program shift
      2m 11s
    10. Exploring image format and size
      3m 59s
    11. Using the Info button
      2m 4s
    12. Examining level and grid display
      3m 45s
    13. Using the Quick Control screen
      1m 35s
    14. Setting the color space
      1m 25s
    15. Configuring multiple media cards
      3m 24s
    16. Using the feature guide
      59s
  5. 23m 15s
    1. Exploring focus modes
      2m 25s
    2. Selecting autofocus areas
      3m 54s
    3. Exploring other autofocus options
      3m 44s
    4. Customizing servo auto focus
      4m 49s
    5. Exploring autofocus custom functions
      4m 50s
    6. Using manual focus
      3m 33s
  6. 10m 31s
    1. Using auto white balance
      1m 48s
    2. Exploring white balance presets
      3m 7s
    3. Using manual white balance
      5m 36s
  7. 10m 47s
    1. Exploring Drive mode
      4m 52s
    2. Using the self-timer
      3m 38s
    3. Using remote controls
      2m 17s
  8. 52m 26s
    1. Exploring metering modes
      3m 26s
    2. Using exposure lock
      1m 22s
    3. Working with focus points and metering
      3m 47s
    4. Exploring Aperture Priority mode
      3m 0s
    5. Using the depth of field preview button
      2m 40s
    6. Using Shutter Priority mode
      3m 26s
    7. Using Manual mode
      3m 27s
    8. Using auto exposure bracketing
      6m 3s
    9. Exploring Bulb mode
      2m 34s
    10. Working with the Auto Lighting Optimizer
      1m 40s
    11. Correcting lens aberration
      2m 46s
    12. Exploring Highlight Tone Priority
      2m 25s
    13. Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)
      7m 5s
    14. Creating multiple exposures
      6m 25s
    15. Using the mirror lockup feature
      2m 20s
  9. 27m 38s
    1. Modifying LCD brightness
      3m 27s
    2. Rotating images
      2m 36s
    3. Using the playback grid
      42s
    4. Enabling AF point display
      1m 18s
    5. Rating images
      3m 4s
    6. Protecting and deleting images
      4m 40s
    7. Using Quick Control during playback
      1m 17s
    8. Exploring file numbering options
      2m 43s
    9. Creating folders
      1m 10s
    10. Changing file names
      3m 12s
    11. Adding copyright information
      3m 29s
  10. 7m 57s
    1. Defining picture styles
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring predefined picture styles
      2m 1s
    3. Adjusting predefined picture styles
      1m 56s
    4. Working with the monochromatic picture style
      2m 0s
  11. 22m 28s
    1. Activating Live View
      7m 16s
    2. Focusing in Live View
      5m 32s
    3. Focus manually in Live View
      1m 25s
    4. Working with aspect ratio
      2m 33s
    5. Exploring other Live View options
      3m 36s
    6. Reviewing the drawbacks to using Live View
      2m 6s
  12. 12m 16s
    1. Shooting video in Auto and Program modes
      6m 39s
    2. Shooting video in Priority or Manual modes
      3m 35s
    3. Exploring movie playback
      2m 2s
  13. 13m 0s
    1. Exploring custom modes
      5m 38s
    2. Using the custom menu
      2m 56s
    3. Exploring custom controls
      4m 26s
  14. 8m 57s
    1. What are custom functions?
      35s
    2. Working with exposure level increments
      1m 34s
    3. Bracketing auto cancel
      53s
    4. Changing the number of bracketed shots
      1m 5s
    5. Changing ISO speed setting increments
      1m 34s
    6. Exploring the Live View shooting area display
      40s
    7. Enabling safety shift
      2m 6s
    8. Clearing all custom functions
      30s
  15. 8m 16s
    1. Camera and sensor cleaning
      3m 12s
    2. Using the Battery Info command
      1m 45s
    3. Looking at operating conditions and temperatures
      2m 3s
    4. Getting firmware updates
      1m 16s
  16. 15m 10s
    1. Exploring focus and composition
      5m 31s
    2. Using an exposure strategy
      5m 11s
    3. Controlling exposure through Program mode
      4m 28s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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