Category Archives: Multiple Exposures

Accessing the Goddess

Untitled © Harold Davis

Perhaps she is the goddess of ballet, or another deity such as Ambika, ferocious with her many arms on the back of a tiger, or Kamala, seated on a lotus and representing prosperity and wisdom. Found as was once upon a tintype, and in my Multiple Exposures series.

Related: Check out my Multiple Exposures portfolio.

Also posted in Photography

Untitled In-Camera Multiple Exposure

Untitled In-Camera Multiple exposure © Harold Davis

Untitled In-Camera Multiple Exposure © Harold Davis

I’m back at the in-camera Multiple Exposures. This one can be visually interpreted in a number of ways if you don’t look too closely, as is the case for many of the Multiple Exposures on my blog.

To create this image, there were ten individual exposures, combined in the camera. The model was the talented and somewhat incredible (in a very good way) PoppySeed Dancer (click here for her Instagram).

Also posted in Models, Photography

Dryad and Dark Angel

Dryad © Harold Davis

Dryad © Harold Davis

Dryad and Dark Angel are in-camera multiple exposures using studio strobes and a black background, with some Photoshop post-production work. With Dryad (above), the model used the multiple exposures to intentionally form a tree-like shape. Later, in Photoshop, I added the exterior textures of branches of a tree to give the sense that the model was an exemplar of the divine spirit in a tree, or in other words, a Tree Goddess, a Dryad.

With Dark Angel (below), the wing-like effect around the model’s upper arms was creating when she moved a black, translucent fabric while making the exposures. I positioned her in the frame you can see in Photoshop.

Click here for more of my Multiple Exposure series. The beautiful model for Dryad and Dark Angel, Muirina Fae, was also in Avatar, Devotional Pose, and Vitruvian Woman.

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

Dark Angel © Harold Davis

Also posted in Models, Photography

Surreal Lady Fish

Take one model (Katlyn Lacoste). Make two in-camera studio multiple exposures of the model using strobes on a black background. Turn the exposures sideways, and mix and match in Photoshop. Add Harold’s eye. What do you get? A surreal lady fish.

Surreal Lady Fish © Harold Davis

Surreal Lady Fish © Harold Davis

Also posted in Photography

Levitation and Meditation

Third I (Eye) © Harold Davis

Technique: in-camera multiple exposure, with five exposures each.

Model Credits: Amelia Simone (above) and Muirina Fae (below).

FAQ: Multiple Exposures of Models.

Online Gallery: Multiple Exposures.

Devotional Pose © Harold Davis

Also posted in Models

Three, Eight, Nine

Do I Know You? © Harold Davis

Eight © Harold Davis

Nine © Harold Davis

Models: Do I Know You? and Eight, Gin N Tonic; Nine, Zoe West. Gallery of Multiple Exposure images; Multiple Exposures FAQ; an introduction about how these images are made.

Also posted in Models

Multiple Exposures and Models: Star of Brightness.

The technical idea behind my in-camera series of multiple exposures of models is to work with the models to use the human body to create an external shape, as defined by the models’ positioning when the strobes fire. The philosophic idea is to use external shape creation of the human form to allude to the divine, in a variety of guises and traditions.

Star of Brightness © Harold Davis

The model in Star of Brightness (above) is Muirina Fae. She’s also the model in Vitruvian Woman, Devotional Pose, and Avatar or Artifact.

The model, and communication with the model, makes a huge impact on this kind of image making. Animism (below) is a collaboration with A Nude Muse, who can also be seen in the White Daemon Series and Once Upon a Tintype

If you are interested in the archetypes and iconography of this series, check out Introducing Multiple Exposures and the Multiple Exposures online gallery.

Animism © Harold Davis

Also posted in Models, Photography

Once upon a Tintype

Once upon a Tintype © Harold Davis

My uncle, at least I think he was my uncle, came back from far away places, India and beyond. He was footsore, and he wanted to rest for days, indeed weeks and months to recuperate. He brought with him iron-bound chests of rough-hewn wood. His caution to me not to open his luggage of course ignited my curiosity. One day when he went out on an errand to his man of business I rummaged through my uncle’s things. Amid old clothes and toiletries of the male persuasion, and statuary of unknown ancient deities, I found this hand-colored tintype, apparently ancient, but maybe more modern than I knew, wrapped in a tattered maroon cloth.

The model is A Nude Muse. She is also seen in the White Daemon Series.The technique is a single in-camera multiple exposure, overlaid in post-production with Daguerreotype and Tintype textures from Flypaper. For related images, see my Multiple Exposures series.

Also posted in Photography

White Daemon Series

The idea of this series of photos, created in collaboration with the model A Nude Muse, was to create images that were simultaneously attractive, eerie, uncanny, and otherworldly.  Ignoring the Picasso-like displacement of body parts, the figure portrayed was to have one foot in this world, and one foot in another world—or perhaps some realm that is the realm of unearthly beings. Who knows what she can see of the future, or whether she is good or evil, or what the future brings. 

White Daemon III © Harold Davis

White Daemon II © Harold Davis

White Daemon 1 © Harold Davis

White Daemon IV © Harold Davis

The technique I employed was to use a series of 8-10 in-camera multiple exposures using strobe lighting for each exposure. The camera did the combination of the imagery. For several reasons, one of which is that one can see instant results in the camera, this works better for this kind of image than photographing individual exposures, and later combining them in Photoshop. We used a white lace nightgown and a white lace scarf to add the dominant “spirit walker” theme to the model; her impact and affect in these images varies from Madonna to Bride to Succubus to Cassandra to a visitation from Death.

Model credit: A Nude Muse. Related images: See my Multiple Exposures series. If you get the chance, please let me know what you think by adding a comment, or via email.

Also posted in Models, Photography

Vitruvian Woman

Vitruvian Woman © Harold Davis

I titled this piece Vitruvian Woman, after the famous Leonardo da Vinci drawing of an ideal man. The model is Muirina Fae; click here for her IG stream, this model is also shown in Devotional Pose and Avatar.

You can see more of my Multiple Exposure series, made, as was Vitruvian Woman using in-camera multiple strobe exposures, by clicking here.

Also posted in Models

Devotional Pose

Devotional Pose © Harold Davis

Click here for a related image, and here for more in my Multiple Exposure series.

Model: Muirina Fae

Also posted in Models, Monochrome

Avatar or Artifact?

I made this image in collaboration with the beautiful model Muirina Fae. It’s an in-camera multiple exposure. There are some more details about how I made the image below. If you are interested in seeing more images like this one, you can click here to see more from my Multiple Exposures series.

Avatar © Harold Davis

It’s interesting to me that you can see different subject matter when the image is thumbnail sized, perhaps something organic, like a vegetable, rather than the actual, human form of the model.

Perhaps you see this too?

The model and I collaborated to make six choreographed exposures on a black background. Each exposure was lit by a single strobe from right and above. The camera was on a tripod to keep its position constant.

The model stood mostly on her right leg, and raised her left leg. Following some experimentation, we put her right leg in a black stocking, so that it blended into the black background, and makes her appear to be off the ground for the entirety of the exposures.

The six RAW exposures were combined in my camera using the Nikon D850’s multiple exposure menu. Following retouching and adjustments in Photoshop, I converted the image to monochromatic, then applied sepia and antiquing effects using Photoshop and plugins.

Also posted in Models, Photography

Chorus of One

I worked with model Jin N Tonic to create a number of images in my Multiple Exposures series. In Chorus of One, I think Jin did a great job of positioning and placement (as well as having enthusiasm, and looking a bit like Marilyn). Jin’s ability to precisely place her body helped to create a sense of pattern across the eight times the strobes fired (each one being an exposure that was combined in-camera using its multiple exposure capability).

Chorus of One © Harold Davis

My Multiple Exposure images use choreographed, in-camera multiple exposures to create an almost stop-motion effect. I like what one can do with this approach, because it combines a technique as old as photography (in-camera multiple exposures) with the full power of modern digital technology. Why, I remember when…to make a multiple exposure on my old Nikon FM-2 you had to press a little button next to the wind lever, to fool the camera into thinking you had actually advanced the film to a new frame. Very mechanical, and yes it was possible to foul it up. Today, it is just a menu item.

Boys and girls, if you try this at home, remember to leave Autogain set to On; this is what balances the separate exposures together instead of letting brighter exposures prevail.

Also posted in Photography

Introducing Multiple Exposures

Phyllis and I are working on an artist’s book—really a booklet—based on my Multiple Exposures body of work. The title, Multiple Exposures, is a play on the technique used, and the fact that the models in the images are exposed (so if female nudity offends you, this work is not for you).

The style of this artist’s book is what we’ve come to call a “pocket” portfolio. It is printed and hand-bound here in my studio, with the intended use of showcasing my images (with some our our pocket portfolios, Moab Paper has also used them at trade shows to demonstrate various paper stocks).

While Multiple Exposures will not be for sale, constructing it is labor intensive and copies are obviously limited. I truly believe that each copy will be regarded as a valuable collectible in times to come. If you are an art gallery interested in this work, or a collector interested in a print, I am happy to arrange for a personal showing.

Wheel of Life © Harold Davis

Here’s the introduction I wrote for the Multiple Exposures artist’s book:

As a technique, the in-camera multiple exposure has its roots in the film era, with notable examples including the surrealistic imagery of Man Ray and others. The digital era has to a great extent eclipsed the use of the multiple exposure, but this forgotten and important element of our photographic heritage can be used to make images that are difficult—or impossible—to create in post-production alone.

Working with a model, the process is both choreographic and collaborative. The model and I agree on the shape that is to be created using the individual components of the multiple exposure, and establish marks. The model then takes each position in turn, and with a great deal of bidirectional communication I fire the strobes and camera on a dark background.

Some of my original thinking when I began this work was to reference relevant historical art using the medium of the in-camera multiple exposure, hence Rodin, Picasso, and Marcel Duchamp. But as I went along I became more interested in creating entirely new elements of the life force. In some sessions this was romantic and sexual, in others the insect kingdom intruded.

Finally, as in all things philosophic, the religious made its appearance—with the bizarre sensual sadism that is part-and-parcel of Western ideology, followed by references to an as-yet-unnamed theology that owes something to Hinduism, and something to the hope that each of us can recognize the light within each other.

Gates after Rodin © Harold Davis

Related story: You can read more about my Gates after Rodin image in A Rorschach for MFAs, and how I began doing these images here. For more stories and images, check out the Multiple Exposures category on this blog.

Also posted in Models, Writing

New Multiple Exposures with Katje

I have some new images in my Multple Exposures series, photographed in collaboration with the beautiful and intelligent model Katje Gee.

About Face © Harold Davis

About Face © Harold Davis

Manifestation © Harold Davis

Manifestation © Harold Davis

Fedora © Harold Davis

Fedora © Harold Davis

I Am That Insect © Harold Davis

I Am That Insect © Harold Davis

Also posted in Models, Photography