Olympus Multiple Exposures – Glowing / Halation trick

Here is a neat trick you can do with your Olympus cameras.  You can capture a dreamy look reminiscent of classic infrared film halation.  I’ve always loved that glow.  Digital doesn’t do it.  You can recreate it pretty using the multiple exposure mode on your camera.  And in color!  The multiple exposure mode shows you an overlay of your image while working and creates a raw file.  Excellent!  Here is an example of the look im talking about.

This is a before and after.  The left image is just a single shot.  The right image is a double exposure with this technique.  If you were to see the larger file…the leaves are actually in focus, and have decently sharp features…but there is a glow or softness that blends in with it.  Very cool and very different than just a diffused out of focus shot or anything that you can get from a plastic lens, etc…

You can do this handheld…but its tough and the results won’t be as nice.  So ideally you need a tripod. You also need to be able to adjust focus manually.  Its easiest to just use manual focus mode.  You can use single+mf as long as the shutter button is not your focus control because that will reset the focus adjustment we do.  Read on to see why!

Once you have composed your scene, the camera is locked down, and your settings are as you would like…do the following:

-Press the MENU button

-Go to Shooting Menu 2

-Select Multiple Exposure

-Set the FRAME option to “2F”

-Auto Gain option can be both on or off…experiment for different looks.

-Overlay option can be left off.  This makes a second exposure ontop of an image you have already captured.  Great for some things…but not what we are doing right now.

-Exit back out to your live view.  You should see the Multi-exposure icon at the top of your screen to show its active.

Ready to shoot!

Focus on your subject and take your first shot.  When the screen comes back to your live view for the second image…SLIGHTLY adjust your focus manually.  You can focus in or out.  You will notice a glow appear on the screen.  Adjust your focus until the glow is pleasing to you.  Each subject is a little different.  When you are happy, fire the shutter a second time.  The camera is basically taking two of the same image and layering them…except one is slightly de-focused.  This creates the illusion of glow.

You can see another before and after shot here.  Could you do this in photoshop?  Yeah probably.  I’de rather do it in camera, make it how I like, and not have to spend time later playing with adjustments.  This is straight out of camera.  Don’t forget to turn your multiple-exposure mode back off if you need to take other images!  Be sure to try this on different kinds of images.  Maybe even a portrait for that classic soft focus look.

Here are some more examples of this technique in a nature setting.

Give it a shot, get creative!  Be sure to let me see the images you create with this!


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