Film Photography Tutorial: Creating Stunning Galaxy Double Exposures

Whether you’re looking for something experimental to do on film or simply want to give your snaps the stellar treatment, this galaxy double exposures trick is worth a try!

Film photography is especially known for encouraging all sorts of creative experimentation, which eventually popularized techniques like double exposures during the digital age. The often cool results and happy accidents are among the things that encourage today’s generation to shoot film. If you’re yet to try double exposures on film or want to do something different with it, we’re sure this quick galaxy double exposures tutorial by United Kingdom-based Kate Hook is right up your alley.

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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.

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Josep Fonti’s Clever Marketing Made Us Find His Film Double Exposures

All images by Josep Fonti. Used with permission.

We came across Josep Fonti’s work in a rather unorthodox fashion. To let you see behind the curtain (as they say), we often get sent work or find it through extensive research. But with Josep, we saw his photography on a laptop he had left open at a camera store in New York. Taking a quick look, we found ourselves saying, “This is some good work here.” We made contact, and Josep was thrilled to hear from us. This pleased us: we wanted to know more about his creative exposures. We needed to understand his relationship with New York and how it fueled his energy to create impactful photography. Let his marketing be a lesson to all photographers, because now we’re together and Josep is about to tell us about his thoughtful series, Numberless New York. Here we go!

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Kate Hook Shows Incredible Skill with Double Exposures on Film

All images by Kate Hook. Used with permission. 

“One big theme for me is ghosts because I have a lot of them, still living and not,” Photographer Kate Hooks explains. Kate is a name you have seen before on The Phoblographer. That’s with good reason as her film photography is some of the most creative and compelling we’ve had the pleasure of sharing with our readers. A lot has changed in Kate’s life since we last spoke to her in 2017, but one thing that has remained is the quality of her work. Back with a fresh batch of double exposures, Kate shares a series of work as eerie as it is pleasant. Intrigued by the theme, we dived deep into her creative world to see how life is going in 2019.

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These Double Exposures Inspire an Experimental Twist to Studio Portraits

Feeling stuck in your studio portrait photography? These double exposures should give you some ideas.

Once in a while, photographers hit a creative rut–and that can especially happen when shooting portraits in the studio. When that happens, trying out a new approach can shake us out of our creative stupor. Experimenting with double exposure is always a good exercise, whether you’re shooting with film or a digital camera. To give you some ideas, you might want to check out the work of Kiev-based graphic designer Victoria Ouarets.

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Gorgeous In-Camera Double Exposures by Luciano Meirelles

If you’ve never tried double exposures in-camera before, the beautiful work of Luciano Meirelles using a Canon DSLR should inspire you.

Some of you may be able to tell that double exposure is one of our favorite creative techniques for digital and film photography. When done right, it produces some really cool and interesting results, as you’ll see in our featured series by Brazilian wedding photographer Luciano Meirelles. If you’re curious about this technique, his body of work is an inspiring example of it’s creative possibilities.

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Film Photographers: Here’s Some Help with Shooting Double Exposures

In-camera double exposures are easy-peasy when shooting with film cameras

Feeling stuck in a dry spell with your creative projects? Time to shake things up and pick up a film camera. Whether you’re doing it for the first time ever or first time in a long time, the constraints of film will definitely get you thinking about your photos and squeeze creativity out of you. One of the ways film photographers (then and especially now) get creative is by doing double exposures — in camera. We’ve got some pretty interesting examples that will get you curious to try it out yourself!

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Louis Dazy Reimagines Hong Kong in Dreamy Double Exposures

All images by Louis Dazy. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Film photography remains a popular medium for today’s generation of visual storytellers not only for its nostalgic look. It’s also loved for the level of experimentation that it encourages. One such photographer, Paris-based Louis Dazy, appears to have mastered the look of medium and used it to craft his own visual style.

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Escape Into Hussam Eissa’s Surreal Double Exposures

All images by Hussam Eissa. Used with Creative Commons Permission.

Despite the risk of creating something overdone, many photographers and visual creatives continue to make double exposures part of their storytelling tools. The dreamy works by Egyptian photographer Hussam Eissa make perfect examples of why they seek to master it. With its origins tracing back to the days of film photography, double exposure simply involves exposing a frame of film twice, yet the creative applications it opens are only limited by one’s imagination. With results that are often ethereal, reflective, and moody, it continues to persist as one of today’s most popular photography techniques, whether traditional or digital.

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Jess Pollock’s Double Exposures Convey Creative Experimentation

All images by Jess Pollock. Used with permission.

“I’ve been an artist and a photographer since middle school. Throughout my art classes in high school and college, I realized that I had a gift of framing my subjects and creating balance in both my paintings and photographs.” says photographer Jess Pollock. Jess has an interesting creative advantage in the fact that he works in various mediums. The ability to not hold yourself back in other mediums vs how one usually does in photography is one that often clashes. But Jess has learned to make his photographs better through skills he learned in painting and vice versa.

“My artistic focus in painting has changed over the years; I used to do abstract impressionism, but have been getting into realism lately, especially nature and outer space.” explains Jess. “As for my photography, I’m always capturing nature (trees, mountains, lakes, oceans, etc.) and have, in the last few years, been incorporating people into my nature photos in a creative way.” Combine this with things like Jess’s love of outer space and the Lord of the Rings, and you’ve got quite a potent artistic mixture.


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Flora Depicts Surreal Double Exposures in the World

All images by TJ Perrin. Used with permission.

“Seeing the screen technology shift in adolescence engrained in me a sense that things have the potential to change extremely fast.” says photographer TJ Perrin about his work for his project called Flora–which is one of the more trippy and surreal photo projects I’ve seen in a long time. “I think these images lend to that kind of expansion ideology, and that the world is capable of so much in a short period of time.”

TJ is originally from California but now calls Stockholm home. He started shooting in 2013 to document his travels, and since then he’s been working on his photographic techniques–which more or less focus on double exposures.

But TJ’s work isn’t the standard use of silhouettes; instead it artistically blends scenes together.

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The Double Exposures of Brandon Kidwell

All images by Brandon Kidwell. Used with permission.

When you look at the images that Brandon Kidwell creates, you can easily tell that there is a very human element behind them. That’s not only because of the fact that he photographs humans, but he also tries to tell stories in layer and with emotions. For Brandon, the best way to do this is with Double Exposures–as is apparent from his Behance profile.

Brandon’s Wisdom for My Children was featured on the Phoblographer before and he’s also in the site’s list of very inspiration double exposure photographers, but what you also probably aren’t aware of is how Brandon manages to blend the technical, emotional, and artistic sides of all these elements together to create what are truly humanistic masterpieces.

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Daniel Mountford’s Double Exposures Are Created In Camera


All images by Daniel Mountford. Used with permission.

Photographer Daniel Mountford is a creative designer who has an incredible Behance profile as well as some of the more interesting double exposures that you’ll probably see. Dan does his work all in-camera with little bits of post-production to give a filter effect. This comes from his experience using Holga cameras; and he tells us that learning to do that on film was quite a process involving trial and error.

His creative vision for his double exposures is one that stems from combining emotions with memories connected to specific people in his life. Both of those are easily seen in the work he produces.

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Post Processing: Creating Symmetrical Double Exposures in Lightroom


All images by Sam Dorado. Used with permission.

A while back I submitted a collection of photographs to GRAMR in hopes of joining their team of photographers. They got back to me and let me know that they were interested in floral themed photography for spring. This is in no way my genre, but my first idea was to do something that involved wildflowers because I think their beauty is often overlooked. I collected some samples and brought them back to my home and photographed a group of them under studio conditions. While in the post processing phase I thought it would be neat to process the shot as a symmetrical double exposure. The resultant photo is above and while it was too experimental for the card company, I am happy that I discovered this technique. All that is required is the Enfuse plugin (originally reviewed for HDR here and multiple exposures here) and I thought it would be fun to show what I did in Lightroom to make this image.

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Six Inspirational Photographers Shooting Double Exposures

Image by Hayden Williams. Used with permission

All images used with permission from their original owners.

Double exposures are tough to do, but if you keep trying and are perseverant, you can eventually create very beautiful scenes in camera. But double exposures aren’t just about the technicalities. They also need to be great concepts. And even if you don’t create them all in-camera, a bad double exposure can still be a bad double exposure.

To get you inspired, there are a number of photographers that we’ve interviewed creating incredible double exposure images along with some tips that they offer.

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Cody Wu Creates Double Exposures on Instant Film


cody wu polaroid IMG_20150731_0004

All photographs are copyrighted and used with permission by Cody Wu.

Cody Wu is not a photographer by trade. Currently pursuing a Master’s in Membrane Transport Physiology, Wu’s taken up photography as passion project, and has largely eschewed digital in favor of analog photography because of its physicality. He found a way to experiment with Instax film, and has created a series of intriguing double exposures merging portraits with the skeleton and nature. Here, he shares his process and approach.

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Double Exposures of Major League Soccer Players



Kyle Beckerman

All images by Tim Tadder. Used with permission.

Photographer Tim Tadder is best known for creating powerful portraits and high action intense sports imagery–and that’s why his clients are Adidas, Under Armor, Sony and many more. Based in Southern California, he was raised in Baltimore where his father was a team photographers for the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Colts.

He recently posted about a project involving creating double exposures of MLS athletes. Like many other photographers, he says that the toughest part of this type of photography is the concepting and ensuring that the images are effective.

We talked to Tim about his start as a photographer and his creative thought process when doing the project.

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Kahren Sabater: Double Exposures On Film


All images by Kahren Sabater. Used with permission. 

Photographer Kahren Sabater got into photography back in high school. “We had a Photojournalism assignment and I had to borrow a camera because I could not afford one during that time. I was able to buy my very first camera four years later and used it while on vacation in the Philippines. I got a chance to help a friend finish her portfolio for her finals which made me feel that I needed to do more photography.” says Kahren. “I then got into the diploma program at PrairieView School of Photography. Fast forward to now and here I am still shooting and loving every bit of it.”

Kahren finds double exposures interesting–and does lots of them using a Canon Elan 7 and film.
“It also gives me a thrill whenever I get my negs at the lab. I feel like I’m in a different world when I look at the images.” says Kahren.

Every time she shoots, she becomes even more inspired by the uniqueness of each frame.  She expresses a desire to keep shooting because of this.

Her current projects are called Double X–and they were shot in Alberta and NYC. The images are after the jump–and a big inspiration to those of us who try to do double exposures.

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The Creative Black and White Double Exposures of Robin Vandenabeele

double exposures - bruges 012

All images by Robin Vandenabeele. Used with permission.

Double exposures take not only lots of technical know-how, but an incredible amount of creative vision to accomplish correctly and to the point where they captivate a viewer. So when Robin Vandenabeele showed us his take on the method, we were simply amazed. Robin has been shooting for the past 15 years with an old Practice MTL5 until moving over to a Pentax Mz-5 SLR camera.

“I love film for it’s grain and I love slide film especially for cross processing, the results of which never cease to amaze me.” says Robin. While cross processing seems to put off lots of other photographers, it’s much different when done with the right processing after that. Robin shoots all his double exposures in the camera, then he cross processes, scans, converts to black and white and then adjusts the exposure and levels.

“I love experimenting and messing things up, just to see a surprising result.”

We talkd to Robin more about Double exposures.

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Tom Krieger’s Double Exposures Make Interesting Use of Textures


All images by Tom Krieger. Used with permission

“I like to combine sometimes architecture structures, nature and human forms.” says Tom Krieger on his double exposure work. “After combining the double exposure I love to use some other apps like Mextures to add lights and structures. Matter is a really great app, too.”

We discovered his work on EyeEm during the recent awards. Tom Krieger is what I like to call a true photographer. He started 25 years ago with his first Nikon without AF just for fun. “Later on I used this camera to experiment with long exposures in the mountains of the French Alps or as an action cam on my hang glider also as a landscape photographer.” Unlike other photographers and wannabes, he understands that the camera is just a tool as a painter and illustrator to paint in a photorealistic style.

“Today I use several digital cameras and lenses and have my own studio for reference shootings. My iPhone is always with me and my point-and-shoot cam.”

Mr. Krieger states that he loves to create images with his iPhone. “It is this simplicity to focus on the essentials of the image design. And I love to play around with apps.” states Tom. He explains his process as working with apps like Diana. After this he scrolls through his other images on his phone to combine with the one he just show. Then he plays around with apps until he gets exactly what he wants from the image.

“I think when a photo is different from others it allows interpretations. I do not really care whether it is a successful image or not. I’m relatively detached in this matter. That makes me feel unbound and detached.”

More of Tom’s images are after the jump.

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These In-Camera Double Exposures Are a Result of Write Issues



All images by Juan Alvarez Lara. Used with permission

The world of double exposures usually yields results that are completely intentional. But in Juan Alvarez Lara’s case, his camera accidentally created some interesting mashups. “About a year ago I was with my daughter at a museum here in Puerto Rico and I took photos of the day.” says Lara. “On the bus back home, while I was reviewing the pictures I accidentally format the SD card.” But when he got home and tried to recover the images, he found something very trippy had happened to them.

The processor had blended the images together. Digital images are written line by line–in the video world this is called interlacing (vs. progressive). And the images recovered contained parts of other images–effectively blending them into a different type of double exposure that isn’t possible through normal picture taking methods.

The results are really interesting, trippy, and have the look of canvases sewn together.

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