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01-27-2016, 06:09 PM   #1
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Interval composite shooting

I have a K-S2, but my question would apply to other models too. I was under the impression that the "Interval composite" choice in the drive mode selections would mimic using a ND filter to slow down the shutter speed. I have tried this to smooth out ripples in a lake and with waterfalls to get that smooth silky look in the water but still have the surrounding parts of the frame in focus (like mountains or sea shore). I have tried various number of exposures from 10 to 20 and while it does smooth out a little I have much better results with a six stop ND filter stacked with a PL lens. Before I order I am wondering if I should try a larger number of exposures to get the desired effect? Or will Interval composite shooting not do this?

I only have a 49mm ND & PL filters but want one for my other lens which have a 55mm, 62mm and 77mm filter threads. I am thinking about getting a new filters in the 77 size and using step up rings for the others to fit if I can't get the Interval composite thing working.

01-27-2016, 06:14 PM   #2
Ole
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Sounds as if you need more shots. And a slower shutter speed might help, too.
01-27-2016, 07:22 PM   #3
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Agree with Ole. Make sure you're shooting with iso 100 and as small an aperture as possible (large number). If each your shots are 1/250 then even ten shots is not going to do much for you (1/25th total exposure). I find that interval composite (or multi-exposure) works pretty well with water, a bit less so with clouds where it can generate odd artifacts if your shots are too spread out in time...
01-28-2016, 02:01 PM   #4
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Thank you for the info, I will give it another try. Where I was shooting was in daylight, sunny, and my shutter speeds were above 1/600 at f8, iso 100. I'll use a smaller aperture so I can lower the shutter speed.

01-28-2016, 03:25 PM   #5
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I have done similar things with simple composite multiple exposure. Interval composite would be useable for creating a time-lapse of multiple exposure images.

When my ND filters would not allow me to slow down the shutter speed enough I used multi-exposure with "Average" composite mode to create a very long exposure. Although not identical to using a super ND, I found it was pretty close for the effect I was looking to achieve.
If there are strong bright streaks, like periodic splashes of water in a stream, those can remain. But with enough exposures those will blend together and be less noticeable.

That being said, 1/600 shutter speed is going to keep a LOT of detail that will be difficult to overcome and smooth out. You're probably going to be in many multiples of tens of photos or even 100's of images to get the smooth results you want.

Do what you can to get some smoothing to begin with.... i.e. go to f/22, even though you may not like the results as far as sharpness and DOF, see if that helps. (although in the case you mentioned, even f22 isn't going to get you to a great starting point -- here is were you're going to want to use what ND filters you have to get a good head start)

It's one of those things where the exposure time and number of exposures probably depend greatly on the subject and requires some experimentation.
01-28-2016, 03:35 PM   #6
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Yeah, I think you need relatively comparable total exposure time to get comparable results. So if you're shooting 1s with your ND filter and like the effect, you'll probably need (say) roughly 200 1/200s shots of multi-exposure to give something comparable. Note that the two (multi-exposure and ND filter use) are not exclusive, and you can carry a not-so-strong ND filter and use multi-exposure to (virtually) turn it into a much stronger one...
01-30-2016, 06:36 PM   #7
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I started playing around with Interval Composite Mode on my K3 this year. I think in order to really get the best benefit you still need to have a somewhat slow shutter speed to start. One thing I found with moving water is there really seems to be no gain after a certain number shots. I did a trial on a waterfall with a 10, 20, 30, and 40 shot composite. I really saw no gain over the 10 shot interval. I still try to shoot either early in the morning or later in the evening. I have used my ND density filter in bright daylight along with Interval Composite to get some dramatic shots. Sometimes one ND is just not enough. I have 77mm ND filters and use step down rings for smaller lenses. Remember to cover the viewfinder to prevent stray light.

10 shot composite at 1/6s f9 combined in the K3 DA* 16-50



10 shot composite 1/20s f6.3 combined in the K3 DA* 16-50

01-31-2016, 01:52 PM   #8
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I can see that I was using much too fast a shutter speed. I have ordered a six stop ND filter. If I need to go slower now the ND filter combined with interval composite should do the trick.

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