Taking multiple exposure images with the iPhone

Amongst my collection of cameras is a plastic lomo film camera. It doesn’t need batteries since there is nothing automated about it. There is no precision lenses or focusing. There is no setting shutter speed or F stop. If you forget to advance the film with the roller wheel, you can take an image over the top of another. Multiple exposure images can be a lot of fun. The fact that the camera view finder doesn’t go through the same lens the image is taken through means that producing two images on a single piece of film can be very challenging.

Today I found Fusioncam for the iPhone. At first glance, it looks like another photo app that mimic a film camera with buttons, image filters at point of the picture being taken and delays while image is ‘developed’. Cuteness aside, I was very excited to see that it handled multi exposure image taking.

The controls in Fusioncam are simple but get the job done. Looking at the opening screen, left to right. The ‘S’ is for logging into the Steply sharing social network. Next is the large shutter button with the camera type lever on it’s side. To the right is the camera flash control and the switch to take a single image or a multi-exposure. Leave the exposure switch to ‘1’ for your first shot, then move to ‘2’ for the second layer.

Along the bottom is access to your ‘settings’ area, the camera/gallery is for getting to Fusioncam’s saved images and the ‘?’ is for the tools description overlay.

If you wish to use the first image as an dual exposure top image on a second image, move the button on the far right up so it reads ‘2’. The initial image will show on the screen so you can look through it and see exactly how your Fusioncam resulting image will look. Snap the image when you have what your looking to create.

You may have noticed the lever with a small blue dot next to the big blue shutter button. In the above image, it is in the #1 position. Tapping it, you can swing it downward to two more positions. Each position changes the image at the time you take a picture with Fusioncam. The viewfinder image does not change when you move the lever from one position to another. Other than the arm, there is nothing else in the app to tell you what adjustment you made. Below are the resulting images 1, 2 and 3 in that order.

When in the Gallery area (film roll), images can be viewed swiping up/down through the roll. An image taken with Fusioncam is automatically saved to this area.

The Multi Exposure picture is the second image saved to the Fusioncam’s camera roll. There is not an option to save the second image taken as a stand long image. Fine with me. The buttons along the bottom of the ‘Gallery’ view: Develop = save to your iPhone’s library, Share = share out to social networks, Trash Can = deletes the image being views, and the Trash All removes all the images in Fusioncam’s Gallery area.

The only negative so far is the image taken in landscape view is saved to the iPhone library the way it was taken, Fusioncam does not offer any adjustments to images after they are taken. Just like my plastic film camera…

After you rotate the image, just a simple photo taken with Fusioncam is pretty nice.

While you are able to use the big Share button to share images with the popular social networks, the developers of Fusioncam also do Steply which is a network they would like you to use for your photo creation sharing.