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Image Breakdown // 'Art Style' Double Exposure at Sunset

Image Breakdown: 'Art Style' Double Exposure at Sunset

I'm excited to share some 'image breakdowns' with you guys to show you what goes into the creation of a final image without the use of Photoshop!  I'll take you through shooting, the thoughts behind the photos I'm taking and then a quick run down of the edits that went into the final image.

I'll show you what went into creating this double exposure!

The Process:

Almost all of the images I create come from a spontaneous idea.  I very rarely have a preplanned or mental image of what I want to create going into the shoot because I really like to vibe off of both my clients and environment.  If you go in with the intent of capturing a specific shot, there is a good chance you'll miss a perfect opportunity to create something much more suiting.   It is very rewarding to see the client's reaction to viewing the image on the back of the camera and getting excited on the spot.  It's also a great way to create with the clients instead of for the clients - something I am a huge believer of.

It was nearing the end of this farm engagement session and we had already snapped enough photos to feel safe about the session.  With that in mind, we headed out to the fields to take some silhouettes with the sunset.  However, the sunset wasn't as aesthetic as I had hoped.  There was a light haze in the air and it really muted any sort of excitement of colour and light.

I began to take silhouettes of the couple interacting in the field, but knowing that the sky wouldn't give me what I was looking for, I began to cover half of the lens with my hand with the intent of double exposing their silhouette. 

Even when exposed for highlights, there was no dynamic colour or light in the sky

After taking the silhouettes, we started to head back in to avoid the oncoming bugs.  Although we had been shooting in a soybean field, there was a wheat field beside it.   I had left my camera in 'Live View' mode and noticed how cool the field looked with the sun setting behind it.  So, of course, I took some photos of it.   Knowing the couple was located in the lower half of the previous image, I flipped my camera upside down to give the effect of the wheat being on the top of the image!  I also played around with the f-stop to give a variety in depth (f1.4 and f14) to the wheat. 

Because I was holding the camera upside down, I had a hard time keeping the horizon straight

Once I decided on which two images I liked best, the double exposure was created using the 'Image Overlay' which is available in Nikon cameras.  Quick note, be sure to shoot in RAW Large on the Nikon D850 to allow this to happen.  RAW Medium and RAW Small is unable to create double exposures.

The SOOC Raw Photo before edited in Adobe Lightroom

After importing the image to Adobe Lightroom, I applied my go to process which I begin all my edits with.  I noticed one unintended effect was the the fade of the wheat from top to bottom.  This occurred because of the mentioned shade effected I created using my hand while shooting the silhouettes.  

An interesting image but I found it to be a bit dull - I was missing something 

You'll notice not too much has changed from the RAW file.  Like I had mentioned, because of the haze, there was not much saturation or dynamic lighting in the sky.  This is where I used lightroom to bring down the highlights and increase the saturation of the colours in the image, specifically the oranges and reds.

The double sun was a welcomed surprise in the image

The last thing I had to decide was wether or not I wanted to straighten and crop the image or leave the angled horizon on top - I decided the angle took too much away for the couple who appeared straight.  So with a little crop and a twist, I everything was all cleaned up and ready to go!

The final image - Stoked!

Thanks for checking things out - Hopefully this gave you a better idea of what goes into the creation of some photos without using Photoshop!