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Lightroom Editing Series

How to Edit a Double Exposure Scene in Lightroom

Montreal Metro Multiple Exposure
The before/after result of this lightroom editing guide.

Images © Wei Xi Luo | Photograph IO. All rights reserved.

For more Lightroom editing workflows like this one, click here. View the different steps distraction-free using the lightbox by clicking on the images. 

In this second article on Lightroom editing, we’ll give a film look (without VSCO or any other presets) to a double exposure (an article on how to take multiple exposures is coming very soon) shot of people waiting in the Montreal Metro, Lionel-Groulx station textured with the picture of a wall. The first exposure of this image, the walls in the background, was shot at 1/30 sec @ f/4, ISO 800 while the second exposure, the people waiting on a bench, was shot at 1/15 sec @ f/4, ISO 800m both using a Fuji X-Pro1 with 18mm f/2 lens.

1) Distortion correction (or why the 18mm f/2 is soft in the corners)

Montreal Metro Double Exposure
Before distortion correction
Montreal Metro Double Exposure
After distortion correction

Although the Fuji X-Pro1 applies automatic distortion correction to its regular RAW files, multiple exposure RAW files produced by this camera doesn’t include that correction for whatever reason. This is something to keep in mind especially if you shoot with an *extremely* high distortion lens such as the 18mm f/2 XF R lens. No, I am not saying that this lens is bad, in fact, I would expect such a compact lens with fast aperture to have a high amount of distortion. But many people on the web wonder why this lens’ sharpness isn’t that good in corners, and that is because Fuji does automatically correct distortion to make it invisible, thus rendering corners soft.

But what happens when no distortion correction is applied? Well … an extremely pronounced barrel effect. Although I don’t know the exact distortion values to correct this lens, dialling + 20 (!!!) and constraining it to crop seemed to do the job.