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4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #1
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Guidance for using bulb mode for star trails?

After a recent experience of shooting star trails for a few hours, I'd like to see if there is a better way of doing this.

I was shooting with my K-1 out in a shallow lake, using Bulb mode - 120 second exposure time. I was standing behind the camera and using a simple corded remote with a single button. The problem was that I wasn't sure how to automate the camera to continuously take photos, and was having to fire the shutter directly after every exposure for the duration of the star trail shoot.

I was cold, immensily bored, my feet were numb, but the worst part was that I couldn't move my feet due to disturbing the water and ruining the reflection. I saw that there is a Multi-shot option with a Compositing Mode, but I don't know what they do and what the final product is - is it a blend of all the shots? Do I still have the individual original exposures to use? Is it reliable? I had a flick through the operating manual for the K-1, but didn't find anything to explain.

I have thought about using another mode and using Continuous Shooting @ 30 seconds with the locking button on the remote, but I'd rather keep the exposures longer to minimize the zipper pattern in the stars and the ISO down.

I've also been having some drama with Interval Shooting using a remote in Manual Mode. The last time I tried, out of the 20+ shots that I programmed for the camera to take, it would take just 5 and create a new folder on the memory card for each. individual. time. I. activated. the interval shooting. I'm not sure I trust using it at the moment.

I want something that is reliable that I can just walk away from and/or can monitor from a distance, as I would like to have another go at creating the photo that I had envisaged and get some better reflections by not creating ripples from moving my feet.. Any suggestions and discussion would be welcome

I would like to hear any ideas: especially from people that have used remotes that have intervelometers built in. Otherwise, next time I'll just take a camping chair and a box to rest my feet on to keep them out of the water and off the muddy floor of the lake

The photo was taken with my K-1 and the Samyang 20mm f1.8. 120 second exposure, f5.6 & ISO 800 for the sky, f4.0 & ISO 1600 for the reflection. Live View and Electronic First Curtain Shutter activated. My 20mm is slightly decentred, so I had to stop it down a bit.
Two seperate panels, one for the sky, with 60 exposures merged, then another for the reflection with 60 exposures. The two panels were then stitched on top of each other. Four hours of standing motionless in a lake, and I want to do it again, and get it right this time.

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4 Days Ago   #2
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No idea how to do it ,but that`s a FANTASTIC shot!
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #3
maw
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Hi focusrite,

To set the parameters go to page 61 is explained very clearly.

''Interval Composite'' take pictures at set intervals and merged them into a single image, there are other functions.

I believe that's your request?

Bye, Mario
4 Days Ago   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by maw Quote
Hi focusrite,

To set the parameters go to page 61 is explained very clearly.

''Interval Composite'' take pictures at set intervals and merged them into a single image, there are other functions.

I believe that's your request?

Bye, Mario
Alas, the Interval Composite is not available in Bulb Mode, just the other modes. There is Multi-exposure, but I don't know how it works and if it does the same thing. If it combines all the images into one, then I'm not sure I would be interested anyway.

I would have loved to have tried the Interval Composite option, but I was genuinely surprised that it wasn't available in Bulb Mode; so I'm looking for a similar substitute.

---------- Post added 08-01-20 at 12:00 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by reynb Quote
No idea how to do it ,but that`s a FANTASTIC shot!
Thanks! I was happy it came together reasonably well, but I know I can do better

4 Days Ago   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Focusrite Quote
Alas, the Interval Composite is not available in Bulb Mode, just the other modes. There is Multi-exposure, but I don't know how it works and if it does the same thing. If it combines all the images into one, then I'm not sure I would be interested anyway.

I would have loved to have tried the Interval Composite option, but I was genuinely surprised that it wasn't available in Bulb Mode; so I'm looking for a similar substitute
Try this.

Also on page 61, "Memo", in B mode after setting from 1 to 2000 shots select the mode you want:

1.Average Creates a composite image with the average exposure.

2.Additive Creates a composite image with the cumulatively added exposure.

3. Bright Creates a composite image replacing only the portions that are brighter compared with the first image.

Mario
3 Days Ago   #6
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Cool, thanks for pointing that out, it clears that question up!

It seems to do what I expected: combining all of it into one exposure. That's unfortunate, as it doesn't really suit what I want - although I might give it a try. It might be good for the sky, but I would be a bit concerned about the reflections - it limits the amount of control I have over post-processing. For example, I had to go through the indiviudal exposures and use an adjustment on individual stars to cut the highlights down, or if the wind picks up and ruins the reflection completely and I decide to cut the shoot short - would the final exposure be captured and combined without me being able to do anything about it?

I would be interested to hear if anyone else is using this feature for star trails and what their results might be.

I might look further into using remotes with intervelometers to see how they might be able to work in with bulb mode.
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