An experiment in double exposure film photography.
I wasn’t content to just expose a film (Going for the DdOoUuBbLlEe. Part 1), wait a couple of weeks to hand it over to someone else and then wait another few weeks until they’d double exposed and processed it before I would see any results. I needed to have some idea of what the results might look like.
Having never intentionally made any double exposures before, never mind film-swapping to achieve the end result, I wanted to know that my part of the swap was going to work. I had the tail-end of a bulk roll of Kentmere 100 film spooled in a cassette so I decided to expose it twice through my camera to see what would happen.
Following the process I had decided on for the film-swap roll, I marked the position of the film when first loading it, wound on two frames and then exposed the film with the meter set for ISO 250 to give 1 1/3 stops underexposure. After the first pass I rewound the film, reloaded it trying to align the marks from the first pass, wound on two frames and re-exposed it with the meter again set to give the same underexposure. The end result would be a slightly underexposed strip of film, about ten to twelve frames long and hopefully with the frames from the first and second passes in register.
On the second pass through the camera I had the advantage of knowing what I’d exposed on the first and so I was able to put a little creative thought into the composition – some worked out, others perhaps didn’t! As it happened I got only two things ‘wrong’: When reloading the film for the second pass I misaligned my mark by one sprocket hole and so the frames overlapped, and I forgot the order in which I’d exposed the last few frames of the first pass when re-exposing them leading to unexpected results. I tried to squeeze as many exposures as I could out of what should really have been a ten exposure length of film, took twelve and came away with eleven!
Once developed (5 minutes in Ilfosol 3 mixed 1+9 at 20ºC) the difficulty I had was in deciding where to make the divide between each overlapping exposure. Here’s what I did, the whole lot, warts and all:
Part one of a double exposure film swap. To be concluded next month.
One of the groups I get involved with is the Edinburgh Lo-fi Photography Group. Around the festive season each year we do some kind of a swap, usually a print swap. This year we’re going for a film swap.
We’ll each expose a film then we’ll swap the films around, re-load and double expose them. There’s quite some scope here for interesting results!
Now this double exposure lark is something I’ve never intentionally done before but I have seen some cracking examples of it where one photographer has double exposed the same roll of film and done so with an idea of what the end result of each shot would be. Swapping films with another photographer for each set of exposures puts the end result well and truly into the hands of the emulsion gods!
I think we are pretty much agreed on some basic ground rules: we’ll swap 35mm for 35mm, 120 for 120 etc. and not mix colour with black & white. The first set of exposures should be intended as background, the second set will be for detail/foreground.
My intention is to shoot 35mm black & white. I’ve spooled a thirty or so exposure length of Kentmere 400 from a bulk roll and loaded it into a Vivitar 3800N camera on which I can mount Pentax-K lenses. The aim will be to underexpose each shot by at least one stop on each pass through the camera to avoid overexposure of the final image so the meter is set for ISO 1000 rather than 400. Depending on texture and light I might vary the amount of underexposure I give. As an aid to reloading the film for the next photographer I’ve marked a starting position. Hopefully this will keep the shots more or less in register!
Part 2 to follow. We’ll be swapping films over in early December so there should be an update in a month or so.
Just a few more images made in the simplest of cameras.
On my last outing with a coffee can pincam, the images looked a bit fogged so I’ve been lining the insides of the cans with black paper to eliminate internal reflections bouncing light around.
So with my two coffee cans (and a drinking chocolate can) duly lined I’ve been taking them with me, one at a time, over the past week. Loaded with Ilford MGIV RC Satin photo paper, the paper negatives have been scanned, inverted and flipped.