unfolding (steps of a multilayered multiple exposure)


I thought it would be fun to take you through the steps on a recent favorite multiple exposure of mine. I numbered the images in the collage, for ease of referral. 

1. The original image, shot in the TinType app, with my iPad mini. 

2. First edit, done with the Percolator app. (Approximate settings: extra fine, tiny, auto adjust, Full of Stars, full, condense, light and sweet, cross perc, clouds.)

3. Second edit, also via Percolator. (Approximate settings: extra fine, tiny, auto adjust, Tripstamatic, 1/2, lightest, black, cross perc, brown bag.)

I liked both of these edits a lot, so I wanted to mix them together. I used the Diana app for the rest of my editing (until the final Instagram edit, which is just for "pop"). 

4. 2+3 + ghost filter = first mix.

5. 2+4 + lazer filter = second mix.

6. 4+5 + no filter = third remix, for the subtle difference in the bottom half. 

7. Then I thought, oooh, let's make it a third eye image! So I cropped 2 and added it. 

8. 6+7 + ghost filter = the result was a yes!

9. But I wanted the third eye to be more prominent, so I remixed 8+9 using the ghost filter again. 

(9 should be the same image as 7, I wanted to emphasize that crop and didn't want the final image to be in the collage). 

The final result (after being filtered in Instagram with subtle lux and the Lo Fi tweaks):


A lot of my process is tweaking levels and settings, which isn't something I can capture in a collage. But it's entirely subjective, too, which means it's just a matter of personal vision. Your tweaks will look different than my tweaks. This is art. 

I think it's worth showing you my unfolding edits because the simple nature of the apps I'm using might make it seem like this kind of multiple exposure is a one or two step process, but that's far from the truth. 

Yes, I have made many one step photos in Percolator and Diana (and pretty much every app I've used), but a lot of my images are multilayered and take many, many steps. Many of those steps are really subtle (the difference between image 5 and 6 is only really noticeable in the bottom half). The subtle steps are still important, to get to my vision of the final image. 

I could have ended at number 5. But then I would have lost the detail in the bottom half and I wouldn't have had the inspiration to add the third eye. 

(My artistic process might be summed up by, "When in doubt, add a third eye.")

Subtle steps make a difference, in my satisfaction with the final image. 

You might be skipping the subtle steps. Which is great, if that's the image you're going for! 

(The end result is the main thing. Are *you* happy with it? Then awesome!)

But if you were skipping the subtle steps because you didn't realize they were possible, well, now you know! Play around! Have fun!

(If that's what you want to do.)

I hope my words and my images spark creative inspiration for you.