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07-03-2008, 09:14 AM   #1
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Multiexposure mode and fireworks?

I've never used the multiexposure mode on my K10D or K20D. For combining a group of fireworks shots, do you think multiexposure would work?

Anyone with experience in this mode care to comment?

07-03-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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Haven't tried it, but I suppose you could test it yourself by flipping a flashlight on and off a few times in dark room (or big closet).
07-03-2008, 10:11 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I've never used the multiexposure mode on my K10D or K20D. For combining a group of fireworks shots, do you think multiexposure would work?

Anyone with experience in this mode care to comment?
Russ,

I have not used multi-exposure for much and certainly not for fireworks. I think it SHOULD work.

But I'm not sure that you'll want to bother. I was just refreshing my memory about this feature with the K10D and took a number of test shots here. I see three problems.

You can control when you take the second (or third, etc) shot, which is good. But there is so much uncertainty about exactly where the next rocket is going to explode, that every multiple exposure is going to be a crap shoot. You MIGHT get a nice shot that's like two flowers blooming side by side. Or you might get a shot with one blossom overlapping the other in a way that is not all that interesting or attractive.

Second, I get the impression that the combining of exposures is done in the camera's cache. In any case, you end up with just one file saved. So you can't do much with it if it stinks, and you've blown what might have been two nice single exposures.

Which brings me to the third problem: The multi-exposure setting on the K10D resets itself each time you use it. I'm too lazy to walk into my office and get the K20D but I don't think it works differently. Anyway, on the K10D, you get into menu, rec mode, multi-exposure, and change the setting to, say, 2 or 3, and okay your way out. Take the pictures. And then the setting is forgotten. So if you wanted to take a bunch of multiple exposures in a row, you'd have to keep getting into the menu. As far as I can tell, this setting is not saved as part of your USER mode settings.

I'm not a fan of Photoshop and don't use it. But I think if I wanted to create overlaid fireworks shots, I would try using Photoshop or the Gimp. Seems that it would give you the greatest creative control, with the fewest risks.

But if you do try it, by all means, let us know what you come up with. Might be brilliant.

Will
07-03-2008, 10:29 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I've never used the multiexposure mode on my K10D or K20D. For combining a group of fireworks shots, do you think multiexposure would work?

Anyone with experience in this mode care to comment?

I am not to sure that you would want to do multiexposure capture for fireworks.

Good firework shots are often difficult to get and the very nature of the ordinance to be exploded may dictate your capture mode.

My personal suggestion is that you capture burst idividually, and then in post processing merge them into a composition you find most creative.

Surprisingly, an individual bursts can be exciting on their own. Why muss it up with an unknown entity of another burst?

If I can, I'll upload a few iamges shortly.

Loaded: Most of these exposures are f/11 @ 6 seconds.

Stephen

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Last edited by SCGushue; 07-03-2008 at 11:06 AM.
07-03-2008, 11:49 AM   #5
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You could do multi, or you could just do one longer exposure. Most people say 4-second exposure for fireworks. Here's my favorite fireworks shot. It's from 2006 and is a 15-secord exposure.

07-03-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
Why muss it up with an unknown entity of another burst?

Do you really have to ask?? Because I can, that's why!

Thanks for all the replies. Since fireworks displays tend to run for 20-30 minutes, I think I may throw a couple of multiexposures into the mix just to see what comes out.

I agree that single exposures are really nice, and a long exposure to capture a couple of shots also works. I guess I was just looking for an excuse to use the latest camera gizmo that I've never tried.

07-03-2008, 12:32 PM   #7
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One thing to be careful of though, is with the exposure lengths. Use the above shot at 15secs. for example. Just say the sutter was opened just as it launched, and a 10 second travel time before bursting. That would really only give you a 5sec. exposure of the burst before the shutter closes, which means you could get the same shot with a 5sec. and opening the shutter just before it bursts. Of course, that's tricky to guess, so longer gives you a little more wiggle room.

Now on the flip side, 15sec. would have been pretty useless if the travel time was only 5sec. and you had the full burst exposed instead of just 5sec. of it.

Of course all of those figures are just random ones used to try to simply illustrate a simple point. Not trying to get too in depth with things here, just the basics. Now if I can just remember some of that tomorrow night.
07-03-2008, 12:46 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I guess I was just looking for an excuse to use the latest camera gizmo that I've never tried.

Here is a great thread showing some of the uses for that mode. K10d Multi-exposure mode [Page 1]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

07-03-2008, 07:01 PM   #9
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Not sure multiple exposures would look different than doing longer exposure to "multiply" fireworks. Unless you mean to put something besides fireworks in one of the images.
Can tell you the K20D will stay in the bag. For fireworks both K10D and DS kill it. The long time auto dark frame subtraction kills any fireworks show. If you leave shutter open 15 sec and camera decides it needs noise reduction it basically locks up another 15 sec! Stupid. The auto noise reduction cuts your available shooting time in half. Ouch.
thanks
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Check out POINT & SHOOT CONTEST #8 in P&S forum. Enter #9. Any type camera except slr. Any brand. Any subject.
07-03-2008, 09:01 PM   #10
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I've been playing with multiexposure a bit to blur a fountain. I haven't had much success and it takes a longer time to write to the disk than a normal exposure does. I think it would make more sense to do single exposure and save multiexposure for something else.

Thanks, barondla, for pointing out the extra noise reduction time with the K20. I might try shooting some tomorrow night and didn't think about the extra noise reduction time. I'll make a point of taking the K100 with me, too.
07-03-2008, 10:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Not sure multiple exposures would look different than doing longer exposure to "multiply" fireworks. Unless you mean to put something besides fireworks in one of the images.
Can tell you the K20D will stay in the bag. For fireworks both K10D and DS kill it. The long time auto dark frame subtraction kills any fireworks show. If you leave shutter open 15 sec and camera decides it needs noise reduction it basically locks up another 15 sec! Stupid. The auto noise reduction cuts your available shooting time in half. Ouch.
thanks
barondla

Check out POINT & SHOOT CONTEST #8 in P&S forum. Enter #9. Any type camera except slr. Any brand. Any subject.
After trying to take some shots of a fireworks show with my K20D yesterday, if the weather is good I'll be taking my 10 instead to tomorrow's show. If the weather is bad I'll be staying inside.

BTW, I've found that bulb mode + cable release is GREAT for fireworks.
07-04-2008, 07:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by joefru Quote
You could do multi, or you could just do one longer exposure. Most people say 4-second exposure for fireworks. Here's my favorite fireworks shot. It's from 2006 and is a 15-secord exposure.

Great shot Joe!

Stephen
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