The photo I’m posting here is part of my “Untitled Nude, 2003” series, but I like to think of it as “The Fabulous Rhowena Twins.”

Of course, if you remember a particular blog posting I made a couple of months ago (, you’ll know that there is in fact just one Rhowena. The color images posted with the other entry were two separate images made with a digital camera that were combined together with stitching software. The monochrome image you see above, quite different from those others, was made as an in-camera double exposure.

The technique to do this is fairly simple though the execution is not necessarily so easy. Place your subject on the left side of the frame and cover up the right side of the lens with a black card (or similar item). Then place your subject on the right side of the photo and cover up the left side of the lens. While doing this, use the camera’s multiple exposure capability (if it has it) to cock the shutter without advancing the film, thus getting both images (or half-images, as it were) on the same piece of film.

While the idea is simple enough, it can be hard to do when you place your subject close to its other self within the frame as I’ve done here. You want to cover up enough of the lens so that each half of the frame is only exposed once – but if you cover up too much, then you’ll have an area of the negative in the middle than gets very little or no exposure, leaving you with a blank spot in the middle. (Ideally, there should be a small amount of overlap to avoid getting the blank area.)

I think I tried several times to get this image and wound up with those blank spots in the middle a few times. The image seen here worked – but just barely. In the middle on the negative is a narrow vertical area that barely got any exposure. When I printed this negative, I think the overall exposure time was something like 15 seconds, but I had to dodge (i.e. limit exposure to) that middle section for 13 seconds. In other words, the overall exposure was 15 seconds or so but the exposure for that middle strip was only about 2 seconds! To do the dodging I used a pencil, as it fit the shape of the underexposed area, but after making half a dozen prints I was only really happy with one and moderately satisfied with another.

Still, despite those difficulties, I’d like to try the technique again sometime, along with other multiple exposure methods.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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1 Response to Twins

  1. Varvara says:

    I know nothing about techincal side of photography, so it’s very interesting to read, and get some education in that field!-J:)

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