I made my first double exposure about thirty years ago. I shot a whole roll of film and wound it back and then accidentally went out and exposed the same roll again. This accident had a profound effect on me at that time which I can still feel today. I was 17 and a dreamer. The chance happenings that occurred on that strip of film spoke to something in me on a subconscious level. I made 100's of double exposures between the ages of 17-20. I couldn't afford to print all of them down at the drug store. So i just processed them to negatives and picked from there. I am not a technically minded person and learning the mechanics of working a camera did not come easily but because I got so in to this technique I spent a lot of time learning how to get a correct exposure all the while correcting all the settings for 2 exposures. I learned fast but it was painful back in the day of film because I couldn't see what I had shot until I could afford to process the film. I often forgot what the intial exposure was of . This led to a bunch of stuff in the trashcan and countless dollars spent on bad exposures. Still I wouldn't trade those years for anything. You can't really experience photography like that anymore.
Every roll of film was fauned over. Every click of the shutter meant money spent, drop off, pick up, cut and put into sleeves before they're even looked at…then scan over with a lupe (magnifier) ,mark, drop off, pick up and more money spent. Keep in mind I wasn't shooting just double exposures. It was a big ordeal. I became so invested in this way that I didn't give it up until 5 years ago when I bought my first digital camera. And while I could wax poetic on the beauty of film and romanticize about it's look or the process. Or I could discuss at length how things I worked hard to master can now be easily done with a .99 camera app but I try to still access that part of my photographer brain and remember what it felt like when I invested my self in taking chances and being free with the camera while giving up valuable resources..I still enjoy shooting double exposures. It's part of my normal mode of operation.
While the element of chance that you had with film has been diminished through digital I still am able to have a pretty solid box from which to paint out of. My camera only holds the first exposure for about 30 seconds, so the second exposure must happen in the same vicinity. This is a neat exercise in timing and intuition. That muscle in my brain is very strong but it has to be to make up for my weakness in technicality and conceptualization.
Anyway..I've been thinking about journaling about photography to better understand it's role in my life. Then I decided to blog about it and give some insights into why much of my photography is the way it is. So maybe folks (including myself) will have a better understanding of the guy who shoots the weird abstracts and blurry stuff. Or as my father said one time, "you look like you enjoy making accidents". He may have been right..but I'm really looking for the scratched record that skips on the angels voice. They rarely, rarely happen but that doesn't stop me from looking or apparently posting photographs from my search on the internet. More double exposures in the ever growing in-camera double exposure folder.