ICYMI, I have a slight obsession with cactus since spending some time in Arizona. What I find fun about them are their variety and their interesting shapes, which makes them perfect for silhouettes.
But these ones are a little different from the other cactus I have posted. Susan Stripling, Davina and Daniel, and several other photographers I admire create portraits with double exposures, and I have been wanting to create them myself. As these are done in camera, not with Photoshop, they are tricky to get right - so I wanted to work more on inanimate objects. Naturally, this Cactus Double Exposure series developed!
This was the first double exposure with cactus I made.
I made a few more over a couple of days.
I found I didn't always want the literal feel and detail of the second image layered over top. I also found the irregular and skinny shapes of the cactus very hard to double expose with something that made sense and was appealing, not to mention in the right places. That's when I started playing with the second image. As I worked with it even more, I found I really liked the look of out of focus images full of colour as the second layer over the silhouetted shape of the cactus.
I shot many of these more abstract ones in a residential neighbourhood, using the landscaped community gardens on the side of the road. The double exposure setting has a 30s time limit between images and often the two objects I wanted to layer were a fair distance away. I'm sure I looked ridiculous running back and forth between different gardens to get the right shots in time in the afternoon heat. I was having fun though, so I didn't mind much.
I'm also happy to report that I only had one minor incident involving cactus needles in the making of these images.
Let me know what you think - do you prefer the detailed or more abstract exposures?