Combining by sandwiching

'Sandwiching' simply means placing two slide film images together in face-to-face contact within the same (glass) mount. Details of one appear in the lighter parts of the other. You can then project your result, or send it for a print or scan the picture ready for use on the computer.

Be careful that the relative size of each image, as well as its positioning in the frame, suits the other slide. You don't have the same flexibility to adjust size here as you do when projecting a slide onto an object. Another point to watch is that each slide should be slightly pale - overexposed by about one stop - otherwise your sandwich will be too dark. It is worth keeping a selection of reject slides for this possible purpose.

Quite often, one existing slide suggests another that needs taking to complete an idea. In this way, you can also ensure that size, lighting and subject placing are tailored convincingly. The sandwiched picture (Figure 41.4), for example, started as an experimental night shot of a distant town, the camera being tilted downward and wiggled for the second half of a 4-second exposure. The result seemed to suggest chaos and stress. Then another slide was planned and shot of a man with his hands to his head and silhouetted in front of white sky (Figure 41.3). This silhouette was slightly overexposed, so that when sandwiched it was not impenetrably black and some of the light trails could be seen 'penetrating' his head.

The seaside is an ideal location for shooting several picture components because of the large plain background offered by ocean and sky. Figure 41.5 is a sandwich combining two 'throwaway' slides. One is a shot of the seashore with a blank, overcast sky. The other contains only blue sky and clouds, but sandwiching this film upside down creates a slightly unsettling, surreal effect.

Figure 41.3 Man against white sky - a component of the picture in Figure 41.4.
Figure 41.4 'Chaos and stress'. Sandwich of the slide in Figure 41.3 and camera-moved street lights.
Figure 41.5 Surrealism at the seaside - via sandwiched slides.

Bear in mind that results similar to the combining of two pictures by sandwiching are now possible by digital means, using cloning or 'layering' software. Sizing and subject orientation problems are less of an issue when digital is used for composition, as this technology allows for the separate resizing and positioning of each image part.

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