How to Make Film-Based Double Exposures (composed according to the laws of chance)

Years ago, my friend Noele Lusano gave me an idea: shoot your way twice through the same roll of film, forget about recording any details about the frames, and let synchronicity dictate how the exposures mesh together. The original plan was to share the roll, with her shooting one pass through and me shooting the other. Long story short, we ended up living on opposite coasts, so the idea never materialized. But earlier this year, I finally got around to putting her idea into practice on my own.

As it happened, the first pass was shot in Winter, and the second in Spring (both in Cambridge, MA). So in the second go-round I decided to emphasize inter-seasonal contrasts — and the contrasts there are intense — by focusing my attention on the new flower blooms. The results were sometimes serendipitous:

Nothing about the alignment of the snow-laden tree branch with the flower blooms in the above image was planned, by the way — it’s a testament to the kinds of synchronicity that can result from this process.

I thought I’d continue by sharing the rest of the results of this experiment here, interspersed with tips for those interested in trying it out.