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Old July 21st, 2018, 08:32 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Location: Xela, Guatemala / Ontario, Canada
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Default Live Composite Nightime Photography

It was pitch black tonight - impossible to identify any of the mountains outside our living room window - until the clouds lit up from time to time from lightening. Unfortunately by the time I got my camera set up, the intense lightning had moved on - but I managed one decent shot.

I have never setup or attempted to use any of 3 amazing features built into my Olympus EM10 and EM1 bodies. Live Bulb, Live Time and Live Composite. What took me some time to get my camera set up, was that I had to go online and see what the difference of each was - and then try and figure out how to set the camera and then use them.

The setting that intrigued me most, was Live Composite - and that is the setting I used to catch the mountains being silhouetted by the lightening tonight. The beauty of that setting is, that unlike a normal long exposure where all light builds and builds, constant exposures are being taken until you click the shutter to stop the capture - and only new bright light is added. That means that foreground lights on buildings or bright skies, don’t increase in brightness and ultimately blow out (such as the building lights at bottom left that I used for focus) - even after many minutes of the shutter being open.

It is quite remarkable really. Now I want to head down to my favourite rotunda some night, and try Live Composite out on a night time street scene with cars lights.


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Old July 21st, 2018, 08:42 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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This is quite literally the view out the window until lightening went off. I had no ability to see what I was aiming at without taking a picture, looking at it and then adjusting my camera on the tripod by trial and error. And I had no way to focus on anything - other than a few lights on houses on the side of the mountain.

It’s cool when you recognize that the small lights that I used to focus, are roughly the same exposure in each image.

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Old July 22nd, 2018, 12:27 PM
Peter Dexter Peter Dexter is offline
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Fascinating. Thanks for clueing us in on that interesting feature. Certainly worked well in this image.
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Old July 22nd, 2018, 01:01 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dexter View Post
Fascinating. Thanks for clueing us in on that interesting feature. Certainly worked well in this image.

Thank you.

I will be using this feature regularly now. But I will have to change a preset. Being I never use the M setting (on PSAM dial), I have a Myset for Black & White assigned to that setting. But all 3 Live modes require the M setting on dial. No biggy - that is going to now be a Myset for Live Composite.

What a great use for those custom settings. I can never remember how to set it up, and it is a bit involved. Now just spin the dial to M, and the camera is already to go.


———
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Old July 23rd, 2018, 05:06 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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I have taken pics at this location using longer Time Exposures - but went down to the rotunda last night to capture the lights using Live Composite mode.

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Old August 16th, 2018, 04:09 PM
Chris Calohan Chris Calohan is offline
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Is this technique somewhat akin to star or celestial image stacking?
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Old August 16th, 2018, 04:23 PM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Calohan View Post
Is this technique somewhat akin to star or celestial image stacking?
I suppose it may be a similar end result. But this is just one image. The first step in Live Composite is to press the shutter to record the base exposure. Then you press the shutter a second time and the camera uses the electronic shutter to continuously fire until you pres the shutter again. This time can be up to 3 hours. What is so cool is that only bright pixels get added with each new exposure. You cannot overexpose the scene, as is possible with Time Lapse. Apparently something like Photoshop’s Lighten Blend mode allows for this. You watch on the camera screen until you have the effect you want, and then stop the exposure. The image is captured. There is no extra process and there is only the one file on your memory card. One day I will use it for star trails to give that technique a try.
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