Multiple Exposures, Multiple Photographers.

This post is only possible due to the wonderful work of my friend and photo partner in crime Taylor Chicoine. He agreed to participate in this project with me, and not only did he participate, but he took some stellar photos.

And what's the project I'm talking about?

Film multiple exposures. More than that, though. Collaborative film multiple exposures. 

Basically, Taylor and I each shot an entire roll of film, but we shot all of our images on the same roll. 

Multiple exposures are excellent fun, and I've done them by myself a couple of times. One of the reasons I love fiddling with film is the potential for happy accidents even with well planned photos.

from 2008. 

from 2008. 

Our project:

With multiple exposures, I find there's a large "play" component added to the picture-taking process, opening up room for experimentation. Even if you're just doing a roll of multiple exposures by yourself, unless you're able to achieve a degree of meticulousness I'm simply not capable of, it's hard to ever really know how the frame will turn out. So you have to relax a little, not worry, and have fun.

And when the frame ends up being a composite from two different artists instead of just one, like in the project Taylor and I did, the potential for surprise and fun goes up exponentially.

Sometimes things will come together and align well, like in the image below.  


Other times, the combinations aren't going to work like how you'd want them to. But you know what? That's okay. Just because something turned out differently than expected doesn't mean the final result is bad. 

 i was expecting an obvious texture of mine to show up in this one, and instead only the color came through. still, i like this image. 

 i was expecting an obvious texture of mine to show up in this one, and instead only the color came through. still, i like this image. 

What I love about this fun exercise is that photo friends around the country (or even across the globe) can collaborate together. Taylor and I are both in Georgia, but I could have easily taken my portion of the roll of film, rewound it til the film was only just visible, then stuck it in the mail and sent it off to friends in Los Angeles or NYC or London. 

Pretty cool, huh? And it's a fairly simple project. 

What you'll need:

  • a friend willing to take photos
  • a film camera that does not automatically rewind, aka a manual film SLR
  • a roll of film
  • your imagination

Our process:

I had the roll first. I took 12 frames of underexposed textures, then 12 silhouettes. After manually rewinding the film in a pitch black room til just the tongue of the film was sticking out, I gave the film to Taylor. (The rewind process is imprecise, which is why some of the frames are off.) Once Taylor reloaded the film, he took 12 frames of silhouettes, then 12 frames of underexposed textures. 

I set up the half silhouette / half textures rule because I wanted some level of control, but we could just as easily have exchanged the film without giving any indication of what we did or when on the roll we did it. 

Here are some of my favorites from our roll: 


So that's it! Easy peasy. And it really is very exciting to develop the roll and see how things combined. 

If you have any questions, or if you want to start a roll of multiple exposures with me, please leave a comment below.

Til next time!