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Using Multiple Exposures to Create Abstract Photographs

Multiple exposures is not a new technique in photography. Though uncommon now in the digital era, multiple exposure is the art of double exposing film in order to create interesting and unique results. With the latest DSLRs, this tool is now found tucked away in your camera settings, and is perhaps your camera’s best kept secret.

Idaho based wedding photographer, Sara Byrne shows us how to explore this feature on the Canon 5d Mark III, however similar tutorials can be found for Nikon and Sony. Sara also gives us a few tips to really take advantage of this old tool brought back to life.

Watch the video above to see how its done in camera on the 5d Mark III, and check out some of her beautiful results below.



Feel free to give this technique a try, and post some of your results in the comments below.


[Thanks to Sara for the video. Check out her Website & Facebook Page]

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taizbn's picture

Great stuff!

Paul Monaghan's picture

had the ability to do this on my older pentax stuff for year's but you have to take the shots in a row and also don't get a overlay over the older shot to play with.

It's nice how canon have implemented this feature although its more like just shooting different images and blending it in post rather than rewinding the film like with the limitations I get :).

Mike Kelley's picture

All these do is remind me of this, but with trees:

Nicholas Gonzalez's picture

LOL. That is perfect!

Art's picture

this one is better than any of the ones up top!

Sean Webb's picture


Zach Sutton's picture

Great work Iiro!

Michael Steinberg's picture

Will this work on a Nikon? I´m talking about takin a picture then later using it later for a bubble expoture?

Noam Galai's picture

Yes... "Multiple Exposures" in the menu

Michael Steinberg's picture

I know there is multiple exposures in the menu. But I can not figur out how I take a reference picture the use it later to double expose on other images I will take later. Like in the video. She takes many portraits and the later she uses them when she takes pictures of trees. Love the funktion of liveview so she can se the furst picture. I can not find this on my Nikon.

Kenji Kenji's picture

I don't think this is possible on any Nikon. :-(

Nicholas Gonzalez's picture

Awesome! Wow!

Jayden Ostwald's picture

All the more reason for me to sell my soul and get a 5D III and use the 7D as a second body..

Andrei Zdetoveţchi's picture

So, basically all you have to do is to read the damn manual of the Canon 5dmkIII, be a little creative and you're all set. I hoped this 'tutorial' might bring some revelations to me and how I might do it with my Canon 7D but I since there's nothing new, I'll go back to Photoshop.

Ashkan Ahmadi's picture

So how can we do it with a non-5Dm3???

Zach Sutton's picture

Unfortunately, you'll need to do it in Photoshop if you're camera doesn't have an in camera feature for it.

Peter Böszörményi's picture

Or you can do it with Magic Lantern

Alfred YKH's picture

Hi, may I know how to do this with Magic Lantern? Thank you!

Mark Devillier's picture
Evan's picture

I'm going to have nightmares! Thanks.

Dino Kužnik's picture
Johnson's picture

This gimmicky method is nothing new. Sara learned this method by watching the "Photo Extremist" videos:

Najarian's picture

Yikes - this is kinda nauseating!

Art's picture

Yes I agree, these multiple exposure portraits look cheap and gimmicky. Reminds me of the "Bodies" exhibit; it's repulsive at best.

Nick Fancher's picture

Fuck the haters. This is rad.

Art's picture

rad? it's a gimmick that's been around for awhile.

Nick Fancher's picture

Nevermind. You've convinced me. She didn't invent the technique so it sucks.

Sarcasm is great. How fitting that the hipster tool calls himself Art. I'm sure every photo he takes is original in its purest form.

javier caldas's picture

can i do the same with a canon 7D????

João Oliveira's picture

Great job! Check out Dan Mountford's work too @

Scott Bourke's picture

Ok if you want to do it with a little more difficulty and creatively try getting it on 1 frame inside a 30sec exposure. Like this. I did a video on how its done back in 2010. Sorry for the poor video quality

Evan's picture

Why is the bubble not erect on both sides of the portrait?

Evan's picture

Gee, I wonder where she got that idea from? P H O T O E X T R E M I S T ( What's next light painting?

Max Barros's picture

she did win the prize last year....

Evan's picture

Holy Sh!t are you trying to frighten us?

Evan's picture

Pretty grotesque.

Evan's picture

A BJ would've been more interesting.

Ronaldo's picture


Ronaldo's picture

You can at least get rid of the distracting power lines in the composition.

This inspired me to experiment with my newly aqquired 5dmk3, but for some reason, I'm not able to switch to liveview and keep the multible exposure enabled. It doesn't show the overlay of the previous taken or selected image - any ideas of why this is or how to fix it?

GIMMAGE's picture

You can make random multiple exposures using open-licensed images on Flickr, searching by tags at

Chris's picture

Here is a multiple exposure tutorial using the Nikon D700 written in May 2012. It happens to be in Swedish but that should not be a very big problem for Google Chrome users.

Here it is:

Massimiliano Uccelletti's picture

Some nudes... Hope not to offend anyone.

Massimiliano Uccelletti's picture

I have 153 Video Tutorials (but only in Italian language) here: http://www.workshopfotografico,com

Nis Daniel's picture

a simple shot :)

Jacob Benjamin Taylor's picture
Angelika Filinska's picture

Anyone who is claiming that Sara is a sham because she didn't "invent" this technique, GROW UP. She never claimed she did, and even explains that this is what happened during the film years, when someone accidentally didn't advance the film and found this effect. Did any of you invent photography? But do you take pictures that are awesome? Are they less awesome because you didn't invent the camera? ...that's what I thought.

Yousuf Shabbir Ahmed's picture
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