The Fake Double Exposure Photography Trick

Mark Wallace has been traveling around the globe for several months now, and every now and then he comes up with an amazing tip or tutorial for photographers. In this video he shares an interesting photo technique which he has named “False Double Exposure.” When shooting through glass, especially shop display windows, there is always some reflection caught in your images. Instead of using a polarizer to cut out that reflection, you can use it your advantage to focus on either the reflection itself or something behind the glass. Either way it’s a nice way to capture the look of a double exposure:

This is a whole new world of creative photography opportunity. You can play around with the reflection on the glass, focus on any letters or other details that might be there on the glass or focus on anything inside a shop. Wallace looks for “levels” or layers within the shot.

Settings and Tools

The trick to shooting a fake double exposure is in using a lens with a really wide aperture. Wallace uses a Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux – M Aspherical manual focusing lens paired with his Leica M Digital Rangefinder camera. This gives him an extremely shallow depth of field so he can pick out the elements in the image that he wants to focus on.


The next step with these images is post-processing. Post-processing is the final peg in the wheel that brings everything together. As Wallace sits down to process his images, one thing that is obvious is there is a lot of contrast in these images. He tends to increase the contrast and saturation to get the look he’s after.

Here’s a quick look at a before and after of a typical image:

post processing window reflection photos

Before and After Post-Processing

Here’s some more inspiration from Wallace’s window reflection shoot:

flower window reflection
window reflection portrait
ghost bike photography trick

This trick can add a new level of creativity to your street photography. Try it next time you’re out; we’d love to see the results.

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