How to Shoot Surreal In-Camera Double Exposure Portraits

We’ve featured a few projects recently that combined portraits of people with photos of nature and various objects. While the look can be easily faked in Photoshop, a more satisfying way to shoot this kind of shot is to do the double exposure entirely in-camera.

Popular YouTube photography channel DigitalRev TV posted this short tutorial yesterday in which host Kai Wong offers a walkthrough on how you can create these surreal shots. You’ll need a DSLR or a film camera that you can create/capture multiple exposures. (Warning: Wong uses some colorful language in his tutorials).

The basic idea is to shoot a silhouette of your subject with the background blown out, and then a second photo to fill in the underexposed areas. To have the final photo come out properly, you’ll need to step down one stop for each of the two shots.

In addition to the photo shown at the top, here are some other photos that Wong came up with over the course of the tutorial:

(via ISO 1200)

Image credits: Photographs by Kai Wong/DigitalRev

  • Daniel R. Chang Acat

    Wong? He’s KAI!

  • Renato Valenzuela

    isn’t his name Kai Wong?

  • Henning Nilsen

    Kai Man Wong, yup!

  • Patrick Oates

    How do you shoot a silhouette? Do you just take a picture the normal way?

  • sELF

    Perhaps someone forgot to say, respect for such artistry? Impressive.

  • Annette (Schrab) Clark

    for a silhouette portrait, shoot the person with a bright background and shallow depth of field, say-shooting up toward the sky which will light the silhouette uninterrupted-it blows out the background and creates a silhouette

  • Annette (Schrab) Clark

    Excellent discussion. I’ve become quite interested due to a friend/photographer’s extensive in-camera multiple exposures and beyond portraiture.

  • samzey

    a photograph is a creation of mind illustration by photographer. without illustration portrait will incomplete have no background to explain its purpose. photography is the name of creation to catch attention, well ! camera double exposure portraits is another more and more catchy attention way. keep it up :).