Is this photo double exposure? Technically, the term is reserved for when an analogue camera opens its shutter twice over the same slide of film, superimposing one image atop another. Some debate the issue feverishly, with critics complaining that when the images is a Photoshopped composite, it isn’t true double exposure. Others shrug that this is what double exposure has become in the 21st century. Judge for yourself:
The photographer snapped two photos, cropped out the hand and pasted one atop the other in Photoshop. He set the opacity of both at 50 percent and fiddled with the brightness and contrast until he found a happy medium. That’s it. No masks, no in-camera editing.
For reference, here are the two images used to create the composite. As you can see, they’re simple shots on their own:
Other photographers choose to use their camera’s built-in double exposure feature.
Is the Photoshopped version of double-exposure too simple? Does it devalue the authenticity of double exposure photography, back when you had to open the shutter twice to impose two images over the same layer of film? Most importantly: does it even matter? Ultimately, it’s a lovely image of the interconnection between man and nature. The process is less relevant.