One of my techniques involves shooting multiple shots against a common background. I call it “multiples”.
Here’s an example I just processed that was shot in San Francisco’s financial district a year ago. I loved the light we had that day – and this blonde with her high boots pulling her suitcase across this “stage” was just a perfect case where multiple shots might pay off.
Last week I did a post about multiples in San Francisco street photography. It’s a fun – and, frankly, a pretty lazy technique. Why do I say lazy? Because you simply plant yourself at an interesting location (a carefully chosen interesting location!) and shoot away. The goal is to capture a series of images of the same area over a period of several seconds. Depending on your gear, you can fire away in single shot mode – or you can set your camera on burst mode – and just hold down the shutter button.
On my Fujifilm X100T, I typically set the Drive setting to Low burst and it works great. But you can just do this with your iPhone – simply hold down the shutter button and the iPhone will fire off a burst of images. The iPhone 6 fires at about 10 frames per second – so you’ll get quite a few images in just a few seconds of holding down the shutter button.
Doug recommends putting your camera in manual for these kinds of shots – so that the camera isn’t choosing different settings in between the shots. He’s more of a perfectionist in this regard than I am. I mostly just don’t worry about it.
The fun comes after importing the images into Lightroom and then editing them as layers in Photoshop. Photoshop’s auto-align will correct for any hand-held movement between the images. You’ll end up with a layer stack of images – all aligned. Now you need to look through the layers and decide how to blend them – to bring in details from various images/layers. That’s the fun part – and it can take a while to get it right.
The image above was shot by me standing behind Doug Kaye as he was using this technique on Clay Street in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
The image below is one that I constructed using these techniques while just standing along Stockton Street and capturing individual shots as people moved through my frame. One of the characteristics of these images that you’ll notice in this one is that people look just too close together. That’s because they weren’t – actually!
On my last couple of outings on the streets of San Francisco with Doug Kaye, we’ve been playing with capturing rapid bursts of images and then blending them together in Photoshop (using layers and layer masks) to create “multiples” – images with repeated people as they walk through a scene. Doug has also been experimenting with bringing multiple people together in a single shot – see this image of his titled Convergence.
These are a couple of examples – the one up top was shot with my iPhone 6 in burst mode (just hold down the shutter button). The others were shot with my Fujifilm X100T.
Just a little bit of silliness that I hope you enjoy!