Ordinarily, cameras have a sensitivity to light that is a function of time. For example, a one second exposure is an exposure in which the camera image is equally responsive to light over the exposure time of one second. The criterion for determining that something is a double exposure is that the sensitivity goes up and then back down. The simplest example of a multiple exposure is a double exposure without flash, i.e. two partial exposures are made and then combined into one complete exposure. Some single exposures, such as "flash and blur" use a combination of electronic flash and ambient exposure. This effect can be approximated by a Dirac delta measure (flash) and a constant finite rectangular window, in combination. For example, a sensitivity window comprising a Dirac comb combined with a rectangular pulse, is considered a multiple exposure, even though the sensitivity never goes to zero during the exposure.
In photography and cinematography, multiple exposure is a technique in which the camera shutter is opened more than once to expose the film multiple times, usually to different images. The resulting image contains the subsequent image/s superimposed over the original. The technique is sometimes used as an artistic visual effect and can be used to create ghostly images or to add people and objects to a scene that were not originally there. It is frequently used in photographic hoaxes.