Bokeh and Double Exposure by Courtney Taylor Bowles

~ This is a guest post written by HubHack member Courtney Taylor Bowles of @CourtneyatHome ~


Courtney Bowles is a family photographer in Richmond, VA specializing in newborn, baby, and children’s photography.  She also photographs weddings and portraits.

Last week, I was just thrilled to see this beautiful – and interesting – picture featured ALL OVER Instagram!!  I swear, Courtney set off a firestorm of double exposure madness to invade our Instagram feeds and I’m loving it!  I asked her to share a little more about this picture and how she created it.

double exposure in camera

Courtney shot this with her Canon 5dmiii and the Canon 85 1.2L.

Her settings were: ISO 500 f/1.2 1/640s

Here is an SOOC (Thank you, Courtney for providing this!)

double exposure bokeh

Shooting Details:

I was shooting low to the ground, I typically stay on my knees while shooting my toddler to stay at his level. The world looks so much bigger down there. The sun had JUST set to camera right and I chose to shoot then so the tree lights would show up. He stood there for just a second before running away – we do a lot of ready, set, go! these days. Once it got a little darker, I chose to do a double exposure of just the tree lights oof to add a layer of bokeh to the shot.”

Editing Details:

“Then I brought the image into photoshop and used levels to darken everything, added a soft blur and masked out my son. I increased the saturation a bit overall as well. I also like to burn the edges to emphasize the subject at the end.”

Here’s her panel in ACR:

creating bokeh effect

“I think I just wanted to document his ready to run stance. I love the arms out and the momentary (and very fleeting) stillness. If anything, I would have shot this 15 minutes earlier and gotten a hit of backlight on that hat.”

When I asked Courtney why she thought this image was featured on so many hubs, she answered, “Honestly, that bokeh is magical. And the idea of the multiple exposures to add it in later is so simple and under-utilized. I was mad at myself for not doing it much sooner!”

This photograph was featured on the following hubs:

@Camera_Mama

@CandidChildhood

@TheSincereStoryteller

@LifeWellCaptured

@EnchantedChildhood

@WildandBraveLittles

@MomsWithCameras

Amazing accomplishment, and many congrats to you, Courtney!

I have heard of double exposure before but thought it was intended to create images with the trees inside the silhouette… Now, this is a pretty cool use of this technique too! Thank you for sharing!

You can find Courtney’s work on her website: Family & Children’s Photographers in Richmond, VA

On Facebook 

And of course, on Instagram at both @CourtneyAtHome & @CourtneyBowlesPhotography


After seeing Courtney’s image and hearing all about multiple exposure, I thought I’d give it a whirl myself…. Click here to see how I attempted to do a multiple exposure with my nikon d5200.  Here’s a hint – it’s harder than it looks…You only get one shot – do-overs are a bit of a pain in the butt!  So….I decided Photoshop was a better option for me!


And remember to follow the new hub, @TheCandidClass.  Their theme this week is Bokeh and the tag is #tcc_celebrations.  You can catch my interview with the creators and mods, Nicole Crocker and Aaron Quesnelle here: Mod Spotlight – @TheCandidClass Instagram Hub

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