I was recently inspired by the works of Davis Ayer, who manipulates film to achieve a very unique look. I have been manipulating film negatives myself, but I have yet to learn how to achieve these specific looks and textures: For example, this flowing, water look

The idea of the photo having this almost "brushed" effect was what intrigued me the most. The background had this effect, yet the model in the foreground was clear.


1 Answer 1


The image looks like it could have been done in-camera, if the camera had a multiple exposure function. If the camera was tilted down for the first exposure, level for the middle exposure then tilted up for the last, you would achieve the stepped gradient effect we see here.

The model looks to have been photographed against an evening sky (or sunset), and appears as more of a silhouette in the first two exposures (where she "appears" top and centre), which is what you would expect if you didn't have any fill-flash or other light source to illuminate the model.

If the first two exposures were handheld at a relatively low shutter speed, a flash firing on the last exposure would explain the crispness of the model at the bottom of the frame.

I'm not saying this is how it was done (obviously I'm not the original photographer) but it could have been done in this way without the need for any darkroom trickery.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much, you were so thorough and I got great inspiration from this technique. You really helped me see/understand elements of this photo I literally wouldn't have noticed otherwise! \$\endgroup\$
    – Robyn
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 22:46

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