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Making identical twins

Here's how. It's easy and fun

You'll need scissors & two identical prints.
You'll need scissors & two identical prints.

This is easy and fun, and produces a great-looking effect. The same effect, more or less, can be produced using digital photo manipulation programs on your computer, but unless you are an expert, this is probably easier and provides the satisfaction of a hands-on creation.

You will need two identical prints in which the subject is slightly off center, a sharp pair of scissors and your imagination. You may also need some glue or two-sided tape.

With the scissors, carefully cut out the subject in one of the pictures, including any helpful part of the image that is immediately around the subject (like the splashes in the water in these photographs), then reposition the cut-out portion over the second identical print so it looks like you have a picture of two identical subjects in one photo. Now, get your camera out, and re-shoot the image to copy it on film. Or, take the composite image in to your local copy centre to have a laser colour print made. Or, simply glue the cut-out on the second print (or use two-sided tape) and insert it in your family album or in a frame. You can even scan the composite picture into your computer. Then, wait for the question when the kids or friends are going through the album or find it on screen: "Hey! How'd you do that?" "Ah, it's just trick photography," you can say with a smile.

Here are the cut-outs. They take only minutes
Here are the cut-outs. They take only minutes

A little glue, and voila!  Another pair of
A little glue, and voila! Another pair of "identical twin" swimmers.

For an added twist, you can use slightly different size prints (like a 4" X 6" if your first print is a 3.5" X 5") to create an even more puzzling effect, where one image is slightly larger than the other.

No computer manipulation; no darkroom tricks. Nothing but a true "cut and paste." This one is easy for anyone to do, and very effective.

It can also provide a fun project to keep your kids busy on a rainy day, and to encourage their creativity. They'll be delighted to show Uncle Roger a picture with his "twin".

There is another way for you to make "twins" right in your camera if it is a traditional film camera, using a double-exposure technique described in our section on Masks. It's a little more work, but it is fun and the results will make you proud of your new found skill.

And, of course, if you have a digital camera, you can always use the clone tool or layers in your image-editing software to create a picture that has the same person in it more than once.

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