In the Herald - Flash Decision has changed my life

Date Published 
Thu 5 Jan 2023

By Janet Paterson


In 2016 my life changed beyond anything I could ever imagine and I knew in that in order to keep “going forward” that I had to do something that made me happy.  With this in mind I left my job early February 2017 and enrolled in a photography course at college.  By 2019 I was studying for my Diploma.  In order to gain this certificate I had to produce a series of twenty images.  


After much deliberation my 2019/2020 graded unit was to produce images using multiple exposure. 


I had been interested in double exposure ever since I found the setting on my camera but had never really used it to its full potential and after being taught how to do layers in Photoshop I found this to be intriguing, thought provoking and pleasing to the eye. 


My aim was to produce a series of “in camera” double exposure images, to challenge myself as a photographer and tell a unique story in a way that cannot be achieved with a single image.  I intended for the viewer to look closely and interpret them in a way that may be different from others.  To go away thinking about these a little longer than they feel they should, to look outwards, be more open minded, not blinkered or reserved in their thinking of what photography or a photograph should be. 


Twenty images using the same technique could become tedious to the viewer, to hold their attention I needed to present sets of images, each having their own series.  These were made up of “The Beach”, “Industrial”, “Urban” and a combination of “nature and manmade structures”. 


Many images didn’t work at all, composition was all wrong.  I couldn’t figure out where I was going wrong.  Then one day I tried something different and bingo, it worked.  I came home, uploaded my images, two, straight away would be in my final.  I kept going back and my “beach set”” was complete, Glasgow here I come!

Up to this point I had become a little disheartened and regretted choosing “multiple exposure” but this small victory really spurred me on.

Initially I wanted to produce a set of images that people would find interesting, intriguing and unique and I did become a little preoccupied with that. 

By the end I realised that I wasn’t doing this for anybody other than myself.  If people found my images interesting, great, if they didn’t, that’s okay too. 

By the time I finished my graded unit and achieved my diploma in 2020 the world had changed and would never be the same again - Covid had arrived and was here to stay. 

What I found was that just being out with my camera and focusing the mind does wonders for your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing. Due to Covid I became very clear on certain aspect of life in general and realised that we need to make the most of what we have, live a simple life and just be kind to each other as well as yourself. 


Well done Janet, it takes a lot to tell your story and put it to print and sometimes even harder "to be kind to yourself" x

Thank you Fiona :)

Janet, really enjoyed your article and I love you photos :)

Thanks Trudi, I'll still bring in on Tuesday my photobook of them :) 

Great article Janet - I really admire anyone who do multiple exposures successfully - I have no eye for it at all.  I think I've got a favourite from each series.  Congratulations on gaining your Diploma too!

Submitted by tracy-ross on Sat 7 Jan 2023 1:14pm

Thanks Tracy, glad you enjoyed it :)