Double Exposure Blends Nordic Nature and Hong Kong in “Neonland”

Double exposure remains a powerful technique for creative portrait work, but Christoffer Relander shows us that it also works great for juxtaposing vastly different locations.

When it comes to creative photography techniques, double exposure (and even multiple exposures) remains a favorite of experimental photographers. As we’ve previously seen in the works of Christoffer Relander, it’s perfect for creating dreamy silhouette portraits whether in color or black and white. If you’re wondering what else can be done with this technique, the Finland-based fine art photographer has yet another impressive example; juxtaposing two locations that are immensely different from each other in every way.

All images in Neonland are multiple exposed in-camera using his Nikon D800E rather than combined in image editing software like Photoshop. According to Relander, it has been his choice of technique for almost 10 years now, mainly because the limitations make his process faster and more enjoyable to work with. In case you’re curious about how he does this with his D800E, he says he uses the built-in multiple exposure feature which allows him to “sandwich” RAW files in his DSLR into a single RAW file. “It’s the same algorithm as multiple exposing negative film,” he added.

“In this project, I wanted to leave my comfort zone and experiment with the contrasting environments of Nordic nature and Hong Kong city. To explore two different environments on different sides of the globe, and playfully blend them into a fictional and surreal world; a man-made ‘Neonland.’ I believe only by documenting my journey and presenting it in another time frame would [it] make sense to convey my surrealistic vision.”

The results speak for themselves, but the fun and fearless part of this project is how Relander used flash and color gels to paint the otherwise drab and pale Nordic landscapes. This allowed the snowy scenes to blend nicely with Hong Kong’s Blade Runner neon vibe, which probably wouldn’t have the same effect if it had been done otherwise.

To satisfy our curiosity and for our viewing pleasure, Relander also made a Neonland video in collaboration with photographer Johan Ljungqvist (filming and editing), Daniel Kouvo for music, and Jesper Söderström for sound.

Make sure to check out Christoffer Relander’s website and Behance portfolio to see more of his projects.


All photos by Christoffer Relander. Used with Creative Commons permission.