James Britt’s Inspiring Dedication to Double Exposures

All double exposures by James Britt. Used with permission. 

The Phoblographer has always had a soft spot for alternative methods of photography. We’ve championed many unique methods over the 10 years we’ve been running. That’s why we were super stoked when photographer, James Britt, contacted us about his fantastic double exposures. So much so, that we agreed to feature them on the site! Because if we’re excited by them, we’re confident you will be too – let’s check them out.

Looking at James’ work, we feel like we’re being put into a dream state. It’s like his images are a representation of us delving into our subconscious minds, as we process the world we live in, figuring out the best paths to take. We particular like the fast pace in which these photographs are created. Whereas some double exposures blend two completely different scenes, James’ are a document of the same environment. But with those slight movements and different points of view comes a new world of imagery. By making the mundane feel like an extraordinary land, James has created a compelling body of work for us to enjoy.

Honestly, you can get totally lost in this work. And in a good way too! The layers of his photographs are mesmerizing and feel like a puzzle or optical illusion you can’t peel your eyes from. This is a perfect case of fantasy meets reality, and the line between the two is blurred, making for some unique photography.

The team at The Phoblographer was keen to understand how James creates his work. He told us:

“I work with a DSLR that does not have a double exposure function. To overcome that, I developed a lens masking approach and an out-board shutter so I can capture all the multiple exposures in relatively quick succession. To make a round of exposures, I first – with no masking card in place – look through the camera viewfinder and set the aperture to a setting for a good exposure with 1/125. Then I change the shutter to the Bulb setting and set the masking card and shutter card in place.

“Because the lens is covered with the shutter card I cannot see out the viewfinder, so, I use an old point-and-shoot digital camera mounted to the top of the DSLR to act as a monitor to help me approximate what is in the frame. When I have found my first subject, I press and hold the shutter down while sliding the shutter card past the lens. Then I rotate the filter holder to expose the balance of the frame (1 to 3 more times depending on the masking card I am using).I then release the shutter button and can shortly see the results.”

His commitment to creating is inspiring, especially when he gets such amazing results. James is the perfect example of a photographer prepared to go the extra mile. Greatness does not come easily, and anyone looking to achieve it should take a leaf out of James’ book when it comes to technique and dedication.

Fans of double exposures may also like to check out the photography of Josep Fonti and Kate Hook. Like James, both of them have fantastic bodies of work.