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How-to's Camera Reviews

Creating Multiple Exposures in camera

Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell)

Keywords: nikon, d2x, camera, bodies

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If you are a D2X user and would like to do some special effects, but don't like doing a lot of post processing with your computer, this is an article for you. By learning to use the Multiple Exposure features of the Nikon D2X (D2H, D2Hs and F6) you can make excellent special effects IN CAMERA... no post processing required!

Below, we'll consider a few special effect types and how to use the multiple exposure controls on your camera. It's a lot of fun, so why not try it!


Nikon D2X

Back in the early 1980's I bought my first Nikon. I'd read about doing multiple exposures and wanted to take a few myself. I purchased a Nikon FM, with a cool multiple-exposure switch next to the rewind lever. I later sold that camera and bought a Nikon FE instead. Look at the picture in figure 1, of my Nikon FE, which also has the same multi-exposure mechanism as the FM. It was a simple system, fully manual, but worked well. I took advantage of it and made a lot of really enjoyable images.

I have many fond memories and excellent photographs created with that little multiple-exposure lever. Do you remember using it yourself? Sure you do!



Figure 2 is one of my favorites. Two of me in the same frame? Yes, that's me in the top and bottom of this 1982 picture. I'm about to drop a flower pot on my other self. But, notice that the shadow of the tree has no shadow of me mixed with it. How did I do this?

This is a simple masked double-exposure. We'll talk more about the technique to shoot images like this later in the article.

Obviously, this was the beginning of my photographic journey, since I hadn't yet learned to watch out for the background. But, it does show a way to have some fun with your camera. After a little practice, you can turn out some excellent in-camera creations.

If you don't particularly like digital post-processing, this is a good way to do some special effect images. No Photoshop knowledge is required, since everything is done in-camera.


If you learn how to use the multiple exposure features of your D2, you'll be able to take special effect pictures when people least expect it.

I'm sure you can think up some clever ways to use multiple exposure techniques! In my early multiple exposure experiences, I would often shoot masked pictures of unsuspecting victims… er… people, and put them in the strangest places.

Here's another of my favorites. My dear wife, Digital Brenda, asked me to wash the dishes since she was going to dedicate herself to change diapers.

A couple of weeks later I had to show my sympathy and compassion for her, daily performing this highly unrewarded chore. I took a double exposure of my dear wife, and put her face in a pot in the sink. Yes, I still had to wash the dishes, and -misunderstood- I slept on the couch for a few days.


Fortunately now, 25 years later, it's one of her favorite pictures too!

I'll leave to your imagination the many sneaky, trouble making, and fun things YOU can do with multiple exposure capability. If you have a D2x.… you have that built-in capability!



How did I create the images above? I'll explain more about this later in the article. For now, let me say that these pictures were done by normally exposing only sections of the frame, while other parts were masked off with a Cokin filter mask. Then the masks were moved and another exposure taken.

The D2 cameras have a much more advanced Multiple Exposure system, and more automation. But, as I found out in researching for this article, they are even more fun than the old way.

Why not get your D2x and the user manual, and let's explore the multiple exposure functions. Soon you'll be making images that cause people to exclaim, “How did you do that?”

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Originally written on January 12, 2006

Last updated on October 28, 2016

1 comment

Zita Kemeny (zkemeny) on April 5, 2013

Good article, very good explained. Thanks.

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