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  • How'd They Do That? :: Me and Me Also

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    Me and Me Also
    by alanfreed


    This was a submission for the "Illusions" challenge. I had the idea of creating the illusion that I was interacting with myself (or that I had a twin).

    For people who have an external flash and a camera that allows longer exposures, this can be a fun (and/or frustrating...) experiment!

    I used a black backdrop for the image so that I would appear "solid" in both instances. If I had chosen a different color, I likely would have been fairly transparent in the shot.

    With my basement completely darkened, I set the camera to shoot a 20 second exposure with an f-stop that would be appropriate for a normal flash photo (I chose f9). Once I released the shutter, I quickly moved into my first position. I held my arm as far away from myself as possible and fired the flash. This would generate the first "instance" of myself in the photo, on the left.

    I quickly turned myself around, made a different facial expression, and again fired the flash at myself from an arms-length. This gave the image the second instance of my head.

    This is what the full version of the shot looked like before I cropped it:

    In this original shot, you can see how important the black background is. In areas that were not shielded by it, you can see some transparency.

    Some people have been successful at using variations of this technique to purposely make "ghosts." The winner of the Superstitions & Urban Legends challenge is a good example. Instead of using a black background, the photographer used a long shutter speed to create the illusion of a ghost. In this shot, the girl posed for a brief moment and then quickly left the frame of the photo.

    Long exposures like this can produce some fun results. I'll warn you ahead of time that getting yourself in a shot twice can be tricky if you want to "interact" with yourself. I tried and failed many times to capture two images of myself correctly. Many of my attempts had my "heads" too close together, not looking at the right spot, improperly exposed, etc.

    Have fun!




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