When it comes to double exposure photography, I’ve never really seemed to get it quite right. Whether that is by not underexposing enough or just a lack of composition, the exposures never quite came out right.
I’ve been shooting with my inherited camera (like many who got started in 35mm film photography), a Minolta SRT101, for about a year and a half, and for that period of time, it has always been impressively sound mechanically. I’ve also found time after time that this camera is very forgiving in its operation, with a great built-in TTL meter that gives an accurate exposure every time.
My favourite film stock since I started shooting on 35mm film has always been the Kodak Portra range, for it’s excellent skin tones and natural rendition of daylight. There’s a reason it is so popular with photographers, amateur or professional. I particularly enjoy the way it captures the warm tones of golden hour, as you’ll see in my 5 images for this article.
Anyway, after some time at the beach this summer, I decided to send a roll of Portra 160 to be developed, and to my surprise, I suddenly found myself the creator of a happy accident. A mechanical error in camera, in the shape of the film not being fully advanced, inadvertently created these accidental double exposures.
What I really like about these 5 images is the combination of colours and tones, captured beautifully by Portra 160 in golden hour. The quirky juxtaposition of my portrait framing of one image with the landscape framing of another creates an unusual but visually intriguing composition. It turns out I could create double exposures after all!
The thing I’ve learned from this unexpected development (Get it? Developed? Never mind…) is that for the countless times my sturdy SRT 101 has forgiven my shoddy photography, once in a while, I am the one that needs to forgive this excellent camera. I’ve learned that though accidental this time around, double exposure photography can be very rewarding, and if anything, this experience has made me want to explore the format in the future.
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