The Multiplier Effect

Late last fall I discovered the technique of “multiplicity.” Multiplicity is the common term for imagery that combines multiple exposures into one image. The effect is not only extraordinarily fun to create, but it also generates the wow factor from those that see it done well. I’ve had much fun coming up with multiplicity concepts since then and the more I attempt these, the quicker the process becomes. Below is the result of my first attempt, I like to call it “The Party”.

After seeing the results (and response) from the image, I was hooked. With my beautiful wife and gorgeous little girls away on a house hunting trip, this was the perfect way to keep myself busy for the weekend. As such, other multiplicity concepts were born. For my second attempt, I took the project to the back yard for more canvas space. Setting my camera on the tripod and the shutter on self-timer, I went to work. This time, I wanted to combine two new effects I discovered into one concept; multiplicity and levitation. The “me” being lifted into the sky was achieved by jumping off of an outdoor hot tub, over and over again, until I got the flying image I wanted. Took about 30 takes to get it (remember, I was on self-timer!). Man were my legs sore the next day. Then, in post, I simply “erased” the hot tub. For more information on levitation photography, see the end of this post.

The next day, I attempted another back yard riot. The original concept was supposed to be “Greens” vs. “Oranges”, but shortly after creating the image, I realized I forgot to change my shirt for one of the guys playing cards in the foreground. Nonetheless, it was great to practice the technique.

I had so much fun with multiplicity that weekend, that I showed up bright and early to work on Monday to attempt another one (I worked out of the Powell River Visitor Centre, so it only seemed right to have myselves helping….well, myselves).

Now that I was quite comfortable with the technique I decided to try some shots using my beautiful daughters as models. First up was my youngest, who wanted nothing more than to show off her Halloween ladybug costume.

Then my oldest daughter, who, by the way, came up with most of the poses herself.

A good six weeks or so passed before I attempted another multiplicity, but the next concept was always on my mind. It was time for another “Party.” This time, I wanted my lovely wife to be a part of the concept. I wanted her to be “surrounded” by a handful of Darrens. I am more than certain that for her sometimes this conceptual scene seems all too real ūüôā

I now have many family and friends asking me to create their own multiplicity images. Who am I to say no? These last two were taken just this last weekend during a visit to Merritt to visit my family. The first one is of my darling niece, and her many personalities.

And last, but in no way least, my nephew showcasing his hysterical sense of humour.

I have many multiplicity concepts brewing in my brain on how I can take this to the next level. Stay tuned as I work them out in my many heads.

To see how this effect is accomplished, watch this video here.

For a tutorial on levitation photography, click here.

Hey is that a new lens, baby?

I love discovering new tricks in Photography. Especially tricks that save me money by not having to purchase new equipment. Case in point is this constant nagging in my consumer-driven psyche to purchase a Lensbaby lens to capture that dreamlike, selective focus effect that I fall for every time. I know that the lens would have been quite fun to play with…for about a week. After which, it would likely stay buried deep¬†in my camera bag talking about its glory days with my never-again-used Armageddon Red ND Filter that I just had to have when I first started photography. A filter that would turn any sky¬†a deep, unrealistic¬†red. Good impulse buy Robinson. Real good. That filter rendered one good image in the several years I have owned it and the¬†minimal times I even used it.

Aliens are coming...to get my red filter

So here I was contemplating another ridiculous spend, when my good friend and pro photographer Kelly Funk passed on a great tip in¬†Photoshop that will produce the same effect as a Lensbaby…when¬†applied correctly. It gives¬†you that dreamy, hallucinogenic-mushroom, Disney Viewmaster type of look and feel. Basically allowing you to keep one¬†element of your image in sharp focus (subject), while blurring the rest of the image elements to look like you just put in eye drops. This effect is used¬†mostly in wedding photography. I don’t see it too often in nature photography, so I thought I would give it a try.

Here is an intimate shot of Lois River near Eagle Falls in Powell River. The colour of the main rock in the image jumped out at me when I captured this shot last year. I thought I would apply the selective focus technique to really make the rock pop. Nothing against the original image, but adding this new application made me fall for this shot in a new way.

As captured in camera

After applying Selective Focus effect in Photoshop

Here’s one of my favourite shots of Saltery Falls, the very first bit of eye-candy you get when you start the 180 km Sunshine Coast Trail. I set up this shot on my tripod and used my self timer to add the human element to a magnificent natural scene. By placing a person in the shot, me, the image becomes more appealing to tourism marketers. Again, I like the original shot just fine. But there is something so cool about the new and improved shot post-effect.

Mushrooms anyone?

Here’s one last example of the effect as applied on this panoramic interior shot of Powell River’s historic Patricia Theatre. Once again, the sharp-as-a-tack image is commercial ready in itself, but considering it is like a time-warp inside the theatre I would try that effect here.

As shot

I woke up and it was 1930

The selective focus method has made me go back into some of my old files for some reworking. It is¬†a lot of fun to see images you¬†forgot you had and bring them back¬†onto your desktop.¬†I¬†anticipate a whole lot of experimental fun with this new technique….for about a week ūüôā

But that is ok, because this kind of fun cost me nothing.¬†I am completely¬†guilt-free and¬†I didn’t have to add any more weight to¬†an already¬†back-cramping camera bag. And my Armageddon-enducing Death Filter? It is now a lovely¬†colourful beer coaster for my cold bottle of Miller. Reduce, Re-use, Re-cycle.

Cheers!

PS. For those that want to know how to apply the selective focus effect in post, visit http://www.elementsvillage.com/forums/showthread.php?t=47882

Tunnel vision to the extreme