Decoding Multiple Exposure by Polina Sarri

By on March 18, 2015

Double Exposure is a creative procedure that involves a certain amount of thought before you shoot, as well as an ability of prediction, along with creativity and imagination. When I first started using the Multiple Exposure feature on Hipstamatic, it produced quite a few "failures" regarding the final image, mainly due to light and contrast misuse. But after a number of experiments I realized how it all works and how to combine two images successfully into one.

Regarding my "Urban People" series, each photo actually consisted of two layers.


The first layer was the photo of the person: a profile shot against a backlit window with a white curtain, so as not to have any distractions in the background. It is important that your subject is really dark with just a little detail in the facial features.

The second layer was shot pointing at an architectural scene; the dark buildings resulting in portraits with more contrast.

The key is to remember that white areas act as masks and don’t let the image of the second layer appear in the final photo, while the black or dark areas reveal what is captured in the second layer. It is also essential to bare in mind that the position of the subject/object within the frame, from layer to layer, is important in order to best control the final result.

Of course, despite all these precautions, there is always room for a degree of randomness, but that, after all, is the beauty of this technique. It is definitely worthwhile, so go and have some fun with it... I sure did.
Polina Sarri

This post is also available in: French


  1. N3553R

    March 18, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Just bought the multiple exposure pack myself, and have been testing it out. Thanks for the hints on how to get it going properly.

  2. cloudhopper

    March 19, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Great article, thanks!
    It might be a useful development of the multiple-exposure feature, if one could “pull” a stock shot back out of the Hipstaprints album to use with something you just saw on the street.

  3. Pablo (PiMball)

    April 3, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Amazing!!! Thanks so much! I am anxious to sunrise and try this technique!!!

  4. tina

    April 15, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I got the kit yesterday but I still have no idea how to do it :(

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