Introduction: Multiplicity Photography (for Absolute Beginners)

Picture of Multiplicity Photography (for Absolute Beginners)

Multiplicity Photography is a technique in which a person is photographed multiple times in different postures then the photographs are combined into a single image depicting the same person multiple times... and it's super simple to do, you only need two things:

A camera - you don't need a too fancy one, but it has to have Time lapse or Remote shutter function. One of these functions is required because the photos need to be taken from EXACTLY the same spot without the camera moving even a hair's breadth or your life will be hell in post production. You were warned!

Access to a computer - and photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. For the purpose of this instructable I used Photoshop, but the steps are basically the same in GIMP too.

Step 1: Taking the Shots

Picture of Taking the Shots

To take the photographs I used my GoPro Session on Time Lapse mode, set to take pictures at two seconds intervals. I placed the camera on a flat rock and turned it on, then my 4 year old son (the subject) was allowed to throw as many pebbles into the stream as he liked. I kept the camera on for a good 10 minutes and then the photo session was over, the pebble throwing continued loooong after.

Step 2: Post Production

Picture of Post Production

Once home I selected 15 or so of the 350+ photos made and copied them into a separate folder for ease of access; when selecting the photographs the main factor was the subject's position, since my goal was to have the subject "scattered" through the whole final image, I chose the appropriate pictures.

I opened the first image in Photoshop, this will be the base on which the clippings will be pasted, then I opened the next photo on a different tab, selected the subject with the marquee tool, copied the selection and pasted it over the first (base) image using the Paste in Place (!) option.

I repeated the previous steps eleven times using the eraser tool to delete unwanted parts when layers overlapped then saved the image.

Thank you for reading and please post your multiplicity photos in the comments!

You may copy this instructable as long as you link back to my blog (


acoens made it! (author)2017-05-07

Fun idea and nice Instructable! Here's me doing something similar in Sydney :-)

asadabdul (author)acoens2017-07-04

That's a great idea!, however you'll need to move fast between spots and stay long enough and absolutely still in every one of them to get a sharp image of each "clone".

stvnishere (author)acoens2017-05-21

This is long exposure if I'm not mistaking, it never crossed my mind that it can be used to create multiplicity photos.

DIY Hacks and How Tos made it! (author)2017-05-17

There are a lot of ways to make clones. But I think that I like your method best.

Either you have a method that is faster and more efficient than mine or you have a lot of patience and time :)

Boredom is the mother of creativity.

Couldn't agree more :))

Haha very nice Jason!

Stevens Workshop (author)2017-05-06

Here are a couple I've done using a similar technique :-) Nice Instructable.

Nice, I have one where I play poker with myself, it's my most liked picture on FB.

DIY Hacks and How Tos made it! (author)stvnishere2017-05-21

Coincidentally, I made one of those too. I think this was actually the first clone picture that I made. I was just learning photo editing. So I was just using the lasso tool to copy and paste.

Pernickety Jon (author)2017-05-04

Great image - like a flock of cute little Santa's Elves! I wish I had done this when my kids were little.

It's never too late!

jveazey (author)Pernickety Jon2017-05-09

Do like me and try to make up the time with the grandkids.

AndreasO1 (author)2017-05-03

Well explained

stvnishere (author)AndreasO12017-05-03

Thank you!

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