Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Multiple Exposure Blending

I am pleased to announce placing in the merit award category for Black and White and Color Magazine's 2012 Single Image Contest on page 150. The issue may still be available on newsstands; check Barnes and Noble.  All of the contest winners are listed on the Black and White and Color Magazine website.

This is the image that was selected:

This was largely inspired by the work of Tony Sweet, who is one of the foremost fine art flower and nature photographers of the day.  This the result of shooting multiple images with a slight camera movement in between each shot.  The frames are then blended together into one photo.  Some Nikon cameras are capable of doing this in camera; however, some Nikons can only blend 3 multiple exposures into one image and some can do 10 which is the preferred amount.

Don't have a Nikon that is capable of creating a ten image multiple exposure?  Well don't despair, neither do I.  But there is a script that can be downloaded and used in Photoshop which can accomplish essentially the same thing in post-processing that the Nikons can do in camera (a script is similar to using an action).  The script is courtesy of Uwe Steinmueller and can be downloaded from this page.  Scroll all the way down to the bottom to the Free Scripts and download the one entitled DOP_LayerStackOpacityBlending.

In order for the script to work, it has to be loaded into the script directory in Photoshop.  On a windows machine, the path would be C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64 Bit)\Presets\Scripts and on a Mac, the path is Applications> Photoshop (your version #)> Presets> Scripts.  To run the script, close and re-open Photoshop and then go to File>Scripts and then select the script entitled DOP_LayerStackOpacityBlending_Integrated.  The script will open and then you can browse for the ten files to use for the multiple image exposure.  Save your blend as a tiff and then you can continue to work it in Photoshop.

There are several videos recorded by Sweet that will help to demonstrate how to achieve this effect.  This first one will show you how to do the camera movements (although using a Lensbaby, the camera movements are the same for any lens):

This next one will show you how to use the script:

Here are more examples of some of my images rendered through multiple exposure blending: 

Try it!


  1. Congrats on the Merit award. I recognize the excellent image. I happened to be shooting at ESP with Tony yesterday as our paths crossed.... more weirdness! :)

  2. Thanks, John, for your comment and congratulations.