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Two techniques to make you a better nature photographer

By Nancy Ricker,

Whistler Naturalists

Nancy Ricker is a nature photographer who will present her work at Au Natural! — Nature Exposed , the slide show hosted by the Whistler Naturalists Friday, Sept. 26th, 7:30 p.m. at Millennium Place. In this column, she explains two of her favourite techniques for producing unique and striking photos.

Multiple exposures

Multiple exposures allow two or more images to be superimposed on the same transparency or print and can result in some stunning effects. Depending on what effect you wish to achieve, you can either handhold or shoot with the camera on a tripod. One thing to remember is that you will need exposure compensation – it can be achieved in one of two ways:

1. Set the ASA or Din number by multiplying it by the number of images you wish to take on that one transparency. For example, if the ASA = 100 and you want 5 exposures, then set the ASA to 500 (5 x 100). Remember to reset the ASA after the picture has been taken.

2. Set the exposure compensation setting to minus (-) the square root of the number of images you wish to achieve on your one transparency or print (do not alter the ASA setting of the film). For example, if you want 9 images on one transparency or print, then set the "exposure compensation setting" at —3.

Sandwich (or Ortin) Technique

The sandwich technique involves sandwiching two or more transparencies and is often called the "Ortin technique" after the individual who made it popular. First, you must have your camera on a tripod as you will eventually super-impose one image of your subject over another. For the first transparency, set exposure compensation to plus (+) 2. Depth of field should be at least f 22 and the subject should be sharply focused. Take the picture.

For the second transparency, set exposure compensation to plus (+) 1. Depth of field should be minimal (eg. f 2.8) and image should be thrown out-of-focus so that the image becomes spread out greater than the initial one (the image will appear out-of-focus). Now take the second picture.

After the transparencies have been processed, take the two transparencies out of their mounts and superimpose one on top of the other. Remount the sandwich in a new mount and enjoy the great effect.

For more of Nancy’s tips, and to see beautiful nature slides from other local photographers, we hope you’ll join us at Au Natural! — Nature Exposed. See below for more details.

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