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How to do a bokeh double exposure

We’ve been playing around with a different way to do a double exposure. A “bokeh double exposure”(we just call it that, but it may have a different name if someone else has done it) is a way to bring bokeh into the foreground, to create images that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. We didn’t hold anything in front of the lens for these photos, and everything was done in camera. Here’s how we’ve been doing it with Canon 5d Mark III’s.

-In the “shoot 3″ menu, scroll to “multiple exposure, disable” and select it.

-Enable multiple exposure by selecting “multiple exposure, disable”  select “on: func/cntrl” in the sub menu.

-We set the “Multi-expos ctrl” to bright, so that the second image exposes for highlights, which will be the light that creates the bokeh. You can experiment with the “Multi expos ctrl” to get the exact image you want.

-At the bottom select “select image for multi. expo.”

Now you’ll be able to pick which photo will be your source image. As you select your source image, try to visualize where you would want bokeh to fit into your composition. This may be the most important step of all. If the second image doesn’t fit in correctly with the source image, it can take a great composition and ruin it.

Now, go find some bokeh! We use chandeliers, candles, string lights, etc…..the possibilities are endless. Once you’ve found some bokeh, visualize your source image and where you want it to fit in. Line up your photo with your bokeh as out of focus as you’d like (we manually focus) and place it somewhere in the frame that will enhance the composition of your source image. Make sure you are exposing only for the highlights, so you don’t wash out the second photo (since you are taking a photo of lights) and everything else in the photo is dark (sometimes we even test our settings before we select our source image to be sure it is exactly what we want).

The next step is to click the shutter. Its a cool feeling as you wait for the camera to put the images together, then see your final result:

creative double exposures
how to double exposure

The image below is what we go for in the second image. If the subject of your source image overlaps the dark areas of the second image, it shouldn’t interrupt the composition of the final product.

bokeh-double-exposure-by-the-markows

We use this technique to make detail photos more interesting:

bokeh double exposure

In the image below, the chandelier in the background is where the bokeh in the foreground came from. Julianne got some funny looks from guests as she walked up to the chandelier to photograph it during Jayne and Chuck’s first dance.

double exposure

You can change lenses in between the exposures if you want different, larger, or smaller bokeh. You can also set your camera to record the source and second images in succession. We often do this during weddings when we are pressed for time or have an exact plan in mind to achieve what we want.

We recommend trying this out and practicing before using it in a real world situation. We practiced a lot in our backyard before attempting this at weddings. Once we got the hang of it, it works 100% of the time if used in the right situation. The hardest part is walking up to lights in the middle of the wedding as guests who are somewhat photography inclined think you have no clue what you are doing….that always makes us laugh.

Feel free to leave comments and/or questions below:)

  • Jayne Propert - May 19, 2014
  • Lauren Marie - July 10, 2014

    You guys are so talented! What type of lens do you shoot with?ReplyCancel

artistic wedding photography madison hotel morristown, nj

“Joe has apparently been playing a large game of wiffle ball all morning” was the first line of an email we received just as we were pulling into the Madison Hotel. The subject line of the email was “Amanda and Joe wedding (a.k.a best wedding ever).”  We had already met with Amanda and Joe a couple of times (after each meeting our faces hurt from laughing so much), so we knew how much fun they were.  Going into this wedding, we had a feeling it would be a special day.

As a photographer, it is an amazing feeling to be so unbelievably comfortable with the people you are photographing. Amanda and Joe made us feel like family………even going as far as seating us with Amanda’s parents and siblings. We could never ask for anything more than what these two gave us and we could never thank them enough for letting us be a part of their wedding.

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We’d also like to thank The Madison Hotel: http://www.themadisonhotel.com, and Cinema Roll Films: http://cinema-roll.com, for being awesome.

  • Elissa - May 12, 2014

    Ummm holy shit, you guys. This is amazing. Every frame is just beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Dennis Pike - May 12, 2014

    This is so good it has made me angry. Like seriously… this is just crazy good.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Cleary - May 13, 2014

    I honestly don’t think we could have asked for any better! You guys truly gave us beautiful memories to look back on! You are the definition of true artists.ReplyCancel

  • small - May 13, 2014

    Love this wedding! The portraits are gorgeous, the dance pics are SO fun! Amazing work!ReplyCancel

  • caroline - May 13, 2014

    wow you guys!!! what an incredible set y’all got here! i mean, seriously. that first frame is just… wow. and so many good ones here. well done, friends!ReplyCancel

  • Ross Harvey - May 13, 2014

    Amazing stuff! Love it all :) ReplyCancel

  • Sachin Khona - May 14, 2014

    What the heck you guys. This is insane!ReplyCancel

  • Danny - May 14, 2014

    Man I love these so great. You guys rock.ReplyCancel

  • heather nan - May 14, 2014

    Those portraits with the directional light? SO good! Well done!ReplyCancel

  • Adam Ward - May 14, 2014

    Soooo many amazing images! From your portraits, to the crazy dance shots and the funny face on the bride in the ceremony :) ReplyCancel

  • Douglas Pettway - May 14, 2014

    This is so damned classy! love it all!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - May 14, 2014

    It just kept getting better the more I scrolled down! Outstanding work guys!ReplyCancel

  • Mark Pacura - May 14, 2014

    Really amazing and beautiful photography. The dancing photos rock!ReplyCancel

  • Teresa K - May 14, 2014

    Absolutely perfect…from beginning to end!ReplyCancel

  • Love your style. Great set of photos.ReplyCancel

  • damian burcher - May 20, 2014

    wow that has to be one of the best hair spray shots I’ve ever seen.ReplyCancel

  • AUNT DARLENE - May 24, 2014

    BEAUTIFUL PICS. HAPPY TO SEE SO MUCH LOVE IN THESE TWO.
    GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY WORK, TRULY………..ReplyCancel

  • Derek - August 8, 2014

    You captured their wedding day beautifully, phenomenal work!ReplyCancel

New Jersey Wedding Photographers Brenizer Method

One of our favorite things in the world to hear from a bride is, “I’m willing to do anything for a great photo.” We never force anyone to do anything they are not comfortable with, so when someone is enthusiastic about trekking through the woods in their wedding dress, we have big smiles on our faces.

Eliana and Joe’s wedding took place on what will definitely be one of the most beautiful days of the year. Not too hot, not too cold, light breeze, and fantastic spring sunlight. This wedding was another great example of how a wedding and the people included should be: happy, loving, fun, and laid back. Thank you Eliana and Joe for allowing us to be a part of  your wedding:)

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  • Elissa - May 5, 2014

    OMG you guys… you are killing me with all the amazingness!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay Stewart - May 16, 2014

    Beautiful wedding photos!ReplyCancel

  • Anna Grinberg - May 22, 2014

    WOW!!! El and Joe, I have only one word to describe the pictures, wedding and your chemistry: AMAZING!!!!!!ReplyCancel

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