My Camera Does What?

You don’t have to be a Photoshop guru to take “special effects” pictures. You just need to know how to operate your camera!

Modern cameras have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. They are, after all, portable computers attached to a glass tube. One of the neat things most all of them allow you to create is a multi (or double) exposure. No fancy software (other than the stuff that’s already in your camera) required! Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony - they all have the capability.

Each camera does it a bit differently, but in practice they’re all the same. They allow you to combine two images into one to create some pretty cool effects.

Girl and her dog in a storm. Check out the texture overlapping the image. That’s a piece of paper with tea stains on it that I made using the multi-exposure function on my Canon camera.

Girl and her dog in a storm. Check out the texture overlapping the image. That’s a piece of paper with tea stains on it that I made using the multi-exposure function on my Canon camera.

With this technique, you can take some rather mundane photography and turn it into your own personal work of art.

Here’s an example. The weather outside is decidedly crummy right now, but I wanted to make an on-the-fly example of this technique. First, I braved the 20 mile-an-hour wind and set my camera to shoot in black and white. I took a pretty boring picture on the road down from my house.

The only character this picture has is a little freezing mist. It was just as cold out as it looks.

The only character this picture has is a little freezing mist. It was just as cold out as it looks.

Next, I ran back into the house. As soon as I could feel my fingers again, I zoomed in close and took a pretty boring picture of a painting hanging in my living room. I’d like to emphasize that the picture is boring, not the painting. My grandmother made this and it’s beautiful. She was an amazing artist.

This is only part of the painting, but I thought that the lines might work well with the picture I’d just taken of the road outside.

This is only part of the painting, but I thought that the lines might work well with the picture I’d just taken of the road outside.

I pressed some buttons and changed some setting until I got it the way I liked. This was the result.

It’s a completely different photograph now. I really enjoy how it turned out. It’s something only a double-exposure could achieve.

It’s a completely different photograph now. I really enjoy how it turned out. It’s something only a double-exposure could achieve.

Unleash your inner artist! There are a ton of creative ways to use this neat trick. But the first step is learning how to use your camera!

~Walter

Walter Sheehey