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DIY Photography: Lens Attachments, Filters & Creative Effects

Lesson 6 of 23

Build & Shoot: Half Double Exposure Filters

Mike Hagen

DIY Photography: Lens Attachments, Filters & Creative Effects

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

6. Build & Shoot: Half Double Exposure Filters

Lesson Info

Build & Shoot: Half Double Exposure Filters

- [Mike] Half double exposure filter. This is very cool. Let's go to the presentation materials real quick. I want to show what that looks like before I throw the camera on. Yes, that one there. Okay. So what we're going to be doing on this one is we're going to take a filter like this. I'll show it to this camera. We're going to take a filter and we're literally going to take gaff tape or duct...don't really use duct tape because duct tape leaves a lot of residue. It's hard to like peel the sticky stuff off. I would recommend gaff tape. Some people call it gaffer tape, but I think the technical term is really gaff tape. The reason why gaff tape works so well is because it does stick, but it doesn't leave the residue when you pull it off. See, I can pull this off and it's almost like it wasn't attached. So what I'm going to do for this photo is I'm going to create a double exposure in camera. Okay? I'm basically going to take a photo with the gaff tape like this and then I'm going to r...

otate the filter so the gaff tape covers the other side. And most cameras these days have a double exposure function built right into the camera. You can do all sorts of fun things with this. So this isn't necessarily the greatest execution of the idea, but the other day, I was downtown in my hometown photographing some boats on the water, and I thought, "Hey, how cool would it be to shoot, you know, the front end of the boat on this side of the frame, and then the landscape on that side of the frame?" And I tried a whole bunch of different things, like the boat floating on top of the trees, like the trees were the water, and I just tried a bunch of random stuff. So there you get a feel for, you know, the left side was photographed with it like this and the right side was photographed with it like that. What we're going to do in the studio here is I'm going to show you how to do a double exposure portrait. So I'll do... You know, maybe one, I'll have you looking off this way and the other, I'll have you looking off that way, and we'll just try a bunch of experiments to see how this pans out. Cool? Cool. This one is definitely not conducive to... Well, it might be in live view. Let me just show you in the live view what it looks like when I'm rotating the filter around and then we'll go out and actually create the photo. Okay, this... I'll just show you how I'm applying this here. Turn on live view. So this is a 50-millimeter f/1.8 again and the filter size is the correct size for the lens. Okay. So you can kind of... Let's manually focus. There we go. Hi, people. Hi, everybody. All right, I'll rotate it this way and you can see, basically, we're going to get half the frame obscured that way, and then I rotate it up like this, and it gets the other half of the frame. So that's cool. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to go into the camera's menu system and I'm going to activate what's called Multiple Exposures. And on the Nikon system, it's right in here. It's in the... Oops. There we go. It's in the shooting menu and it's down here a little bit lower. It's called Multiple Exposure. I think it's... Did I miss it? Oh, it's after Interval Timer. Come on, brain. Where did you go? Multiple Exposure. Why is it grayed out? You know why it's grayed out? Is because I've got the cable attached. I'm going to go to my other camera that doesn't have the cable attached and we'll just start shooting the photo. Switch out the lens, go over to this one. Okay. And for this shot, actually, I might do studio lighting. We'll see. All right, I'll try that again now. Definitely go here to the Shooting Menu bank and go to Multiple Exposure. I'm just wondering if the multiple exposures are blacked out because we're connected with our cables. I'm thinking that might be the case. So to make this happen... Do I have another camera? Yes, I do. Let me see if it activates on this one and then we'll just do a close-up with the studio camera. You know, you think you test all this stuff beforehand and make sure it's going to work and then you get... Yeah, see, this one is allowing me to do it because there's no like output data set going into it, so... Okay. So I'll end up using this one. This is my D500. It's all going to work the same, though. Okay. So this one, I'm going to set it up, go Multiple Exposure. I want to turn the Multiple Exposure mode on and I'm going to set it for series, so I can just take a whole series of images. And then how many shots do I want in this multiple exposure? Two. So one is going to be on the left and one is going to be on the right. And then Overlay mode, I'm going to just do... Let's just do Add. What Add is going to do is let each one be a full exposure, and that will make sense in just a second. All right. So the first one, I'll shoot, and you can see her face will be here on the left-hand side. There was a question earlier today about autofocus. Autofocus might be hard on this one, especially if your sensor is like over here on the right. So you'll see me pushing with my thumb here. I'm going to actually move my autofocus sensor to the left side for the first photo and then I'm going to move my autofocus sensor to the right side for the second photo. All right. And let's just check the mode. I'm in Aperture Priority. I can see Multiple Exposure is on. I'll shoot this at f/2.2 because I want to, for no particular reason, though. All right, here we go. So shot number one. And for this, we're just going to keep it real basic. You can just maybe look that way for shot one. Oh, I got to move my autofocus sensor there. All right, cool. All right. And go and ahead and look the other...rotate by, look the other way. And to do that now, I'm rotating this to go the other side. I got to move my autofocus sensor over there. Okay. All right. Oh, I got her eyes closed, but let's just at least show the first shot. Is that coming through, team? - [Woman] Cool. - Cool. All right, let's try this again. Yeah, this one... Keep those eyes open. Yeah, right on. Okay, focus on the left side. And how about this one you smile? Cool. And now we're going to focus on the right side, and this one, I want just a serious look. Contemplative. Cool. Let's see how that one did. All right. So let me explain for the camera and for the people in the audience what we're seeing here. So each photo is basically 100%. So each photo is registering all pixels, all data. And the goal with this little black tape is to try to make the right side of the frame completely dark. But in this case, you can see on her face, it's a little washed-out, a little washed-out. And so we can solve that problem by maybe covering a higher percentage of the filter. Turn this around. Maybe I can move the tape a little bit more over the side so we obscure more of that backdrop. I think a little bit the problem is the backdrop is like shining through her face on that second photo. That's okay. You know, it's a starting point. Let me do a studio shot here real quick. I'll throw my flash on here and I'll show you what this looks like with just studio lighting. It's kind of fun. Okay? Turn this one on, great, and I'm going to go to Manual mode on my camera. So I'll just go Manual Exposure and I'm going to go to f/5.6, and I'm going to go to a shutter speed of 1/250th. And then my ISO, I'm going to set my ISO down to 400. Cool. Now I have to grab my flash trigger. Right on. Okay. Let's do the happy-sad thing again. All right, you can be happy. Oh, f/5.6, where did that go? There we go. Okay. Oh, it's not focusing. It's like hunting left and right. So I got to move my focus sensor even farther left. Got it. I think I got it. Okay, one, two, three. And then I rotate the filter to the other direction and I got to put my autofocus sensor over there. And, again, this is the sad. Sweet. Oh, cool. All right, I didn't get...I didn't nail my exposure, but it at least gets the idea across. - [Woman] I had a question from the sunglasses. - Yeah. - And that was... Bonnie Mitchell had asked, "What's the difference between curved sunglasses versus not curved? And then glasses with or without a prescription, do you think that would better..." - Okay, good. You know, the curved sunglasses versus the uncurved sunglasses, I don't know, can you get uncurved flat plate sunglasses? If you can, that might be kind of cool. But I think in general, you know, I think the gist of the question is do you get a different effect by different sunglasses? And the answer is, yeah, yes. You know, mirrored sunglasses, you can shoot maybe the opposite direction. Like you can shoot from the front versus from the back and you may get more reflections in there. The color of the surface plays a big role, yeah, big curves. Like I have a set of sunglasses that wrap around, they're for mountaineering and snow and glacier work. Those might give you a lot of distortion, like just a lot of blurriness, especially around the edges. So, you know, if you've got a bunch of sunglasses, try them out, experiment, see what happens. Oh, and then the prescription side of things, yeah, prescription sunglasses may not be the right choice because they're designed to focus for the eye. So my guess is that you will get a blurry look to the photograph. Yeah, I'm just going to try this real quick. Oh, yeah, it's all blur. Yeah, prescription glasses. So your prescription sunglasses would be the same. It would just be really blurry. All right, so that's this little filter. I've been messing around with this filter for about two or three weeks and I'm really enjoying it. It's a lot of fun to do these double exposures. So this is a cool example of using some functionality in your camera, you know, the double exposure thing, and then applying another DIY solution on top of that. So I'm just combining ideas and that's the gist I'm getting from the internet today, is what about this with that and that? Perfect.

Class Description

You don’t need to buy every lens or filter for your camera in order to create impactful images. Mike Hagen is back with his DIY series to explore the hacks you can take to play with different looks when shooting. He’ll explore ways to create tilt shifts, bokeh backgrounds, lightboxes for macro field work, and star filters. 

  • You’ll learn how to make: 
  • Soft filters for photographing portraits or flowers 
  • Neutral density filters for long exposures 
  • Different fine art backgrounds like bokeh, haze and tilt-shift 
  • An inexpensive macro lens and macro diffuser 
Capture different looks by using items you can find around your house or at the local hardware store. Mike Hagen will have you expanding your camera bag and your portfolio so you can spend more time being creative and less time spending money. 


a Creativelive Student

It's a fun course, with a lot of interesting ideas presented in a way to help spark the creative juices in anyone wanting to branch out and experiment with different ideas. Mike's presentation style is fun and easygoing - perfect for this type of discussion. If you're not afraid to color outside the lines and see where the road takes you, this is a very enjoyable bit of inspiration.


Love it!! Very creative and full of inspiration. Mike Hagen explains the different effects in a great way, he is precise yet easy-going so he makes learning fun. I recommend this class to all who wants to take their creative photography to the next level without spending money on expensive accessories.


Mike has an easy-going, pleasant & fun personality. He explains things clearly. Rolls with whatever happens. And, he's very good about answering audience questions in an understandable, positively reinforcing and non-judgemental way (which can be rare for some established pro photographers...).