52 week project - double and multiple exposure photos


Welcome to my 52 week photo project for double and multiple exposure images. Those in the industry know what 52 week projects are. But for those who don't, for me, it's all about that old adage, "practice makes perfect". Well nothing is ever perfect, but I believe regular exercise of an activity or skill is the way to become proficient in it. So that's why I am undertaking a time intensive, sustained photo project... To be better.

My project is in double and multiple exposure photos because my visual style lends itself to layers, sometimes many, and so it is a type of image that has featured in my work for awhile now. I've been posting a double exposure image a week on Instagram, so undertaking this project feels like a natural step to commit to this sort of work. I will be experimenting, exploring, creating, succeeding and failing, and it'll be interesting to see what comes of it.

To answer the question I get most commonly: I do my double exposures in camera. There are a number of reasons for this: it’s more efficient than Photoshop and it’s also more fun. Lastly, at this point in time I want my double and multiple exposures to look like photos. I feel that if I take them into Photoshop they become more digital art than photo. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that - it’s just now where I am (artistically speaking) right now.

Here's to 2019 being a year of great exploration, learned lessons and lots of seeing double.  

52 week project in double and multiple exposure photos. Krystil McDowall Photography_0001.jpg

WEEK 7: One of the tricky things with face double and multiple exposures is the eyes. Where do you want the eyes to sit via-a-via the face? And how many eyes are you willing to have in one picture? Answers to those questions generally come down to personal preference at the artistic level. This photo also proves you don’t need amazing backdrops for every photo. I took this image in front of a wall at a playground that my son often paints on

52 week project in double and multiple exposure photos. Krystil McDowall Photography_0002.jpg

WEEK 6: I bet this doesn’t strike you as a silhouette double exposure, does it?! I even had to take a second pass at it (and I created it!) When I thought about the silhouette “filler”, filling my husband’s silhouette with some flowers or trees just didn’t make sense. He’s been writing fantasy novels almost as long as I’ve known him and he has these funny fantastical character books laying around. I wanted to honor my subject’s interest in the fantastical, and this is the result... A semi fantastical silhouette

52 week project in double and multiple exposure photos. Krystil McDowall Photography_0005.jpg

WEEK 5 - this image ends the first month of this project. Again, I wanted to incorporate my husband’s hat. Because the image has one face hidden and one face exposed - the focus to me isn’t on the mystery of the subject but on the creativity of the layers. Many double exposures rely on good timing and accurately picturing how layers might look on top of each other - this one was no different.

52 week project in double and multiple exposure photos. Krystil McDowall Photography_0006.jpg

WEEK 4 - My husband wears a lot of hats. Well I should say he likes to wear hats. So incorporating them into a slightly mysterious portrait photo was always going to happen. My incorporating only half his face was intentional as it was to emphasize focus on his hat. The eyes are always a draw in an image with people and I wanted the focus to be elsewhere here.

52 week project in double and multiple exposure photos. Krystil McDowall Photography_0002.jpg

WEEK 3 - Prior to this project, I had not created any double exposures with a portrait “filled” with something. That’ll change this year and this is my first go at it. Here's a pic of my husband, but does anyone know the fill? I’m not sure how many video game nerds are going to be reading my project. But the fill is the characters on my mouse pad - they are different characters created for various Blizzard franchises. To be clear, I’m not a video game nerd, it’s my husband who is into the tech fun.

52 week project in double and multiple exposure photos. Krystil McDowall Photography_0001.jpg

WEEK 2 - This photo is a portrait of the first friend I made when I moved to Cali. She's a fellow creative that makes beautiful family images on film. Prior to her leaving we had one last play date at her abode in Huntington Beach. There was kid chaos all around us: dress ups, Polly Pockets, Audrey trying to crawl over one side of the room. Among all of that, we were discussing Christina's "why", and I took this portrait when she was doing that.

52 week project in double and multiple exposure photos. Krystil McDowall Photography_0004.jpg

WEEK 1 - This is my son with his favorite toy, a Bruder truck. We were killing time at home one afternoon. Anyone who has young kids knows there are some magical but also some deliriously long days in parenthood. I got my camera out on one such long day and decided to experiment. He gladly stood for a portrait then I went straight to his truck, and this is the result.