Plymouth County Hospital Ξ Memories of a Place

Many moons ago when I had access to a darkroom I did an independent study in night and surreal photography. I experimented with a few different techniques during that time, but one of my favorites was multiple exposures. Basically, a double exposure is when you take two exposures on the same piece of film either by winding the film back or by having your modern electronic SLR not advance the film while still resetting the shutter. I always found that multiple exposures added a layer of creativity to photography, because there is the decision of what two (or more) visual elements to combine.

Fast forward to 2006 and the Breaking New Ground Photo Contest on one of the urban exploration boards that I participate in. The idea was that urbex photography is somewhat stagnant (with a few exceptions IMHO) and that no one was really bringing a lot of new concepts to genre. Since I still feel like I am just getting my sense of composition and technical skills back up to par, it was a challenge to come up with something to do for the contest. What I finally realized was that I should try to use a photographic technique that was used in other areas of photography in an urbex setting.

I knew from my experience many years ago that double and triple exposures worked well for architecture and, in fact, one of my favorite shots from that time was some graffiti off an abandoned power house overlayed on a bridge in Saugus, there was an element of urbex present in that work before I even knew what urbex was. In any case, I decided that this would be a good technique to use for the contest since I haven't really seen anyone do multiple exposures in abandonments before.

I should note that there is only basic post processing done on this shot and on the others that I will be posting. The exposures were combined *in the camera*. Photoshop was used to do basic darkroom style processing on these images, but the composition and combination of the exposures was all done in camera. I experimented with using Photoshop to combine exposures, but found the results contrived and lacking the entropy that makes multiple exposures done in the camera fun to shoot.

I am just getting started with this technique again and I expect to do much better work in the future as I practice composing and exposing these shots more.

Thanks to Mike Dijital for setting up the contest and giving me a reason to start working with this technique again.