Sunday, December 1, 2019

Field testing the LE Simulator Script

The latest version of my Long Exposure (LE) Simulator script, that allows you to capture LE exposures without NDs, may be downloaded from the right-hand link.

This version tidies up a few things, to better link to my workflow, which is:

  • Compose and set the base exposure using your preferred method, eg ML ETTR, and remember it
  • Consider taking an Auto Bracketing exposure set (or after the MLV is captured)
  • Run the LE Sim script from the ML script menu, having set the time of the LE in the ML Bulb menu (note: don’t switch ML Bulb on).
  • If your base exposure is not within the script’s limits it will warn you, ie between 0.15s and 5s
  • If the camera is not in LV mode, the script will ask that you put it in LV mode
  • The script will then set things up and ask that you put it in Canon MOVIE mode
  • The script will now take you to the ML Movie menu, where Full Resolution LV (FLV) will have been selected, along with RAW video
  • The script will ask you to switch on FPS override. You can adjust if required, ie to better match the desired base exposure
  • You should also check that the RAW Video capture is adequate, ie green and continuous. If not, adjust the FPS and, if required, exposure
  • Press the Trash button to exit the ML menus
  • You should now see the scene: if not press MENU twice, ie on and off
  • Do a final check of the composition and exposure, and go back to the ML menu to adjust if you need to
  • Do a 2+ second long half shutter press to capture the MLV LE simulation or a less than 2 second press to exit the script without taking an MLV
  • After exiting the script will switch off MLV video, but note that you will need to switch off the Canon Movie mode to return to photo mode.
As for RAW processing, simply import into MLV App and export the MLV as an averaged TIFF.

As for post processing, well that's down to your artistic desire. This is why I take an auto bracket set as well as the MLV video, as I can blend any of the auto brackets or any of the induvial MLV FLV frames, with the averaged MLV.

As an example, this image was taken at our weekend break at Port Quin, in Cornwall. I first captured an Auto Bracket set and then 133 frames worth of MLV FLV capture at 2 fps and a shutter of 1/3s. That is a simulated exposure of about 45s, ie 133 * 1/3s.

I processed the MLV and blended the MLV averaged one, for the land and sea, with one of the Auto bracket captures that covered the sky, as I didn’t want to smooth out the sky.

The script appears pretty robust, at least on my 5D3, and thus now I can carry out 'emergency LE' captures, ie without NDs.

As usual I welcome comments and feedback on this post.

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