Long Exposure + Multiple Flash

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for DSLRs
In the days of film cameras, it was common to take multiple exposures on a single piece of film — more commonly by mistake than on purpose. But when used on purpose it can be a powerful technique. These multiples were done with a small flash unit during a single long camera exposure, but it is also possible to take multiple exposures with some digital cameras. And you can keep the lens open with the Bulb setting and use a dark cloth to take multiple exposures.

Most modern flashes have the ability to shoot multiple times and at different power settings. If you can make that happen without checking the booklet, you are a whiz with your flash.

Bottom Line: You can take interesting multiple-exposure images using a small flash.

By the way, I opened the shutter and manually fired the flash, which was set to multiple-flash. So the data for these images is recorded as Flash Did Not Fire. The camera can not know everything you do — it does not record what filters are on the lens, or fireworks that go off during the shot — or flashes that you set off on your own.

three and a half Nicoles
swiveling Nicoles
many Nicoles
rotating Nicoles
a wall of Nicoles
eye-merged Nicoles
waving Nicoles
flashing Nicoles
three and a half Nicoles
swiveling Nicoles
many Nicoles
rotating Nicoles
a wall of Nicoles
eye-merged Nicoles
waving Nicoles
flashing Nicoles
three and a half Nicoles
swiveling Nicoles
many Nicoles
rotating Nicoles
a wall of Nicoles
eye-merged Nicoles
waving Nicoles
flashing Nicoles
Left
Right

Four and a half Nicoles.

97mm, f11, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 800

Nicole on an office swivel chair. You need to work out speeds for the movement of the subject and the repeating flash to get something you like.

Really makes you appreciate digital imaging, when you delete 50 images to get 1 good one, plus you can see right away if you are on the right track.

Let us now appreciate the folks who did this kind of thing in the film days.

67mm, f11, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 800

Nicole slides through the photo with arm up.

55mm, f22, 3 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 200

Nicole bends to the side.

55mm, f16, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 200

Nicole holds the flash under her chin for that spooky lighting look, then moves left, or maybe I panned right - would look about the same.

73mm, f2, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 200

A whole lot of Nicoles. To get this kind of thing to line up the way you want - with her eyes a certain distance apart — you either need to do some math or try a lot of variations.

67mm, f11, 3 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 800

Nicole moves and waves to the camera. I like the combination of repeated Nicoles with a very transparent arm.

67mm, f11, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 800

Nicole holds the flash in her hand and swivels her arm down. Odd how her face ends up in her own underarm - that it the kind of accident that can be wonderful, or just weird.

55mm, f22, 3 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 200

Four and a half Nicoles.

97mm, f11, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 800

Nicole on an office swivel chair. You need to work out speeds for the movement of the subject and the repeating flash to get something you like.

Really makes you appreciate digital imaging, when you delete 50 images to get 1 good one, plus you can see right away if you are on the right track.

Let us now appreciate the folks who did this kind of thing in the film days.

67mm, f11, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 800

Nicole slides through the photo with arm up.

55mm, f22, 3 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 200

Nicole bends to the side.

55mm, f16, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 200

Nicole holds the flash under her chin for that spooky lighting look, then moves left, or maybe I panned right - would look about the same.

73mm, f2, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 200

A whole lot of Nicoles. To get this kind of thing to line up the way you want - with her eyes a certain distance apart — you either need to do some math or try a lot of variations.

67mm, f11, 3 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 800

Nicole moves and waves to the camera. I like the combination of repeated Nicoles with a very transparent arm.

67mm, f11, 2 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 800

Nicole holds the flash in her hand and swivels her arm down. Odd how her face ends up in her own underarm - that it the kind of accident that can be wonderful, or just weird.

55mm, f22, 3 seconds, multiple flash, ISO 200