How to double-expose with a P&S digicam

One fun thing that can be done with very simple toy cameras, like a Holga or a Lomo Smena 8M, is double-exposing negatives. This technique requires that a second image to be taken after the first/initial shot, both of which are exposed on only one negative frame; the film roll is not advanced to be able to do this.

Question is, can this be done on a point-and-shoot digital camera?

Why, yes! As shown below:

If you have a basic digital camera that has a Manual mode, or will enable you to expose an image for 10 seconds or longer (this is not the same as shutter delay), as well as adjust the aperture to control image exposure, this fun trick can be easily done. Additionally, a separate flash unit is needed (or another camera with a built-in flash will do); this additional hardware will enable us to feed the second image to the camera. A tripod will also help.

How I did it:

  1. The smallest aperture I can achieve with a Canon A85 in M mode is F8. I shot at that setting consistently, and played around with exposure times. A 10 second setting, or longer, is ideal. I then set the digicam to a tripod, for optimum control.
  2. After adjusting the settings, I shot my first image, using the camera’s native flash.
  3. The second image of the chosen subject should be ready right after the first shot. To experiment, one can simply move the camera, or move the subject.
  4. Halfway through the time setting chosen, with the subject in its second pose, I fired my flash unit. It will take seconds for the image to process.
  5. Behold! A double-exposed image in a single frame, using a simple digital camera! Here are a couple of more shots from this experiment:

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