Seeing Double a #We35 Exploring the Frontier Adventure

The Expedition

Seeing Double

This month's #We35 expedition jetted me straight to my happy place. I've long enjoyed exploring images with layers of meaning and nuances.

Our assignment was to make two images or elements work together. Together, they may tell a greater story. Part of the intent was to push beyond our self-imposed boundaries and explore context, juxtaposition and light-dark. We were limited to in-camera double exposures or reflection images, rather than creating composite images, or using apps. And of course, #We35 means we shot all images at 35mm or its equivalent on a crop sensor.

The Warm Up

No matter where she went, he was always on her mind.

To warm up I started with a few reflection images.

He went that-a-way

But reflection images are already in the middle of my comfort zone, and I wanted to push the boundaries.

pushing creative boundaries

So I dug into my D7000's manual and learned how to use the in-camera multiple exposure feature. It allows up to three images in a multiple exposure, with a maximum of 30 seconds between images. I could not shut off my camera after one image and set up the next shot, then turn it back on.

People said she leaned a bit to the right, but she always considered herself a centrist.

Combining two images on the fly in less than 30 seconds proved a challenge. If you were working in a studio with a well-thought-out subject, it might be easier. But, not having a studio, I took my gear to the streets.

exploring themes

Once I was more comfortable using the multiple exposure feature, I thought about themes I enjoy exploring in my work: Time constraints, juxtaposition in current affairs and social justice, to name a few. Turns out, I couldn't resist a bit a #FakeNews, either. (No, the couple wasn't trespassing.)


Keep Out

double impact

This one was shot at 35mm, but I cropped it in a bit. You can see the limits of my Photoshop skills in the bright spot I wasn't able to successfully tone down.

It was a happy coincidence that the man's shirt was a tropical motif that played off the Deep Eddy's advertising.

Deep Eddy


Tea with the white rabbit—at gunpoint

I decided to play with this one a bit more. I cropped it and pulled it from Lightroom to Silver Efex Pro 2 to narrow the focus and bring out certain elements in the image, like the shotgun shells.

Time for tea

Triple threat

Of course I couldn't walk away from this project without trying a three-image multiple exposure. Combining two meaningful elements in 30 seconds or less was a challenge, but nothing compared to making three rapid-fire images work together.

I returned to a couple of my other favorite themes—locks and bars, and time. For me, locks and bars exist to keep people out. This often segues into my social documentary work. Who is being kept out? By whom? Why?

And yeah, I've also got a thing for mannequins.

This image symbolizes women's place in society today, relative to their historic roles. It's as if in many senses, she's trapped in a time warp. But, there's just enough of a hint of modernity in this image to cue viewers that this is a current image. I'm thinking this may make a fun cyanotype, also.

Imprisoned in time

the final image

Prisoner of time — a self portrait

This straight-out-of-the-camera version wasn't what I envisioned when I made this image.

Prisoner of Time - SOOC

Instead, THIS is what I saw.

Prisoner of Time — a self portrait

This one is personal. And yes, if you look very closely, you can see a bit of my reflection in the image. But what this image says about me is more important than my physical representation.

I feel as if I'm constrained by time, and that keeps me from pursuing my creative passions. It's as if it's holding my "real life" up, while I'm in pursuit of just putting food on the table. I'm OPEN to change, and maybe some big ones—that will enable me to better pursue my creative vision. And, there's an element of hope. The doll looks off in the distance—aware she's trapped, but envisioning a more free future.

Created By
Melanie Rice


All photos copyright Melanie J. Rice

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