Lomography Experimental Lens Kit
One of my best friends and I got scheduled to work offshore together and because he is awesome, brought me a Lomography Experimental Lens Kit!!!! We had talked about how awesome it looked but I had no idea how much fun I would have using the double exposure feature. After a long bout of trial and error and finally resorting to the instructions, I figured out how everything worked and began shooting. During my "test shot phase" I was still a bit confused and there was a very steep learning curve. Luckily after spending some time with the setup something clicked and I began to grasp the theory behind multiple exposure photography as well as understand what LOMO was trying to accomplish.
The kit comes with a normal (24mm), wide angle (12mm), and fisheye (160 degree FOV) lens and each has a built in shutter which allows you to take multiple exposures "in camera". In addition it come with a set of small filters which you place in a slot behind each lens. I quickly found out that the ND filters are necessary when using the lenses for double exposures during the day.
Basically the way you shoot double exposures here is to set your camera to bulb mode and trigger the built in shutter as many times as you desire depending on how much overlap of material you want. The EM5's Live Time/Live Bulb modes are very useful here because you get a preview of the exposure as it is happening. I stuck to the Live Time mode where you press the shutter button to start the exposure and then press it again to stop it. If you use Live Bulb then you will have to keep the shutter button pressed which inhibits your ability to use the on lens shutter button on the LOMO lenses.
One tip I can leave you with is to have the internal shutter in the "N" position when you are concerned about excessive blur. In the "N" position each time you trigger the shutter it equates to a speed of 1/100 seconds. In the "B" position the shutter will stay open until you release the lever. I've gotten better results using the "N" mode over the "B" mode even if it takes upwards of 4-5 "clicks" for the first part of the photo and another set for the second. In other words, five 1/100 sec exposures for your first frame and another five 1/100 sec exposures for your second frame will give you sharper images than a one second exposure per frame using the "B" mode. The photo below was shot in using this method... After crudely stabilizing my camera on some stairs I captured the railing and sunset using three 1/100sec exposures then moved to shoot the front of the vessel using two additional 1/100 sec exposures.
These plastic lenses are not the best when it comes to image quality, but what they lack in sharpness, they definitely make up for in their ability to inspire you. I wanted to do a full on review of the kit, but there are some awesome ones out there and decided to just provide some sample shots below without spending too much time on the specifics of each lens. If you are interested in the E.L.K. check out these other reviews by The Phoblographer, Mirror Lessons, ePhotozine, and Dirk Essl. All these links will give you a more in depth look at the kit with tons of sample photos to get your creative juices flowing.
I wrote about the Lightroom plugin "Enfuse" a while back and commended its ability to create very natural looking HDR photos. When you run the plugin it gives you a number of options for aligning the shots that comprise the HDR output. While reviewing the plugin I figured out if you turn the alignment options OFF then you can superimpose unrelated images onto each other while blending their exposures. The photo above was the first double exposure I created using this method, but at the time I was not impressed with the final output and did not include this feature in the original review. After getting the E.L.K. I revisited the plugin due to my new found interest for double exposures and after spending some additional time with it, I have some to the conclusion that this plugin is a great tool to create these types of photos. Really, the only limit is your imagination. The plugin takes only seconds to run and most of the material I have “enfused” together looks really good. Of course, I am biased on this account but below are some sample photos showing some multiple exposure photography made with the plugin that is similar to what you can achieve using the LOMO E.L.K.
I am sure there is a way to do all this in Photoshop, but I use Lightroom as my primary photo editor and it is nice that Enfuse literally takes seconds to run. I highly recommend giving this plugin a shot especially if you are interested in HDR or creating a more non-conventional type of multiple exposure photograph. The download link can be found here and for a small donation you can unlock the full version of the plugin.
2nd Curtain Flash
If you live in, or are traveling to Florida and would like to schedule a photo-shoot, I am currently offering portrait services in and around Central Fl. Check out more of my work at www.samgoldphotography.com