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Topics - dan.g

General Help Q&A / confused about sunrise / sunset
September 08, 2012, 12:03:34 PM

I've been using ML for almost an year now, especially for timelapses. While I have aquired some decent footage with your software, I was very happy when the bulb ramping feature was announced. Still, I think I need further info about it (I've read the built-in manual but it only helped to some degree). I  am still confused about a few things as I will mention below.


If I try to make a transition from night (milky way should be correctly exposed) to day, it is my understanding that I should use the sunrise bulb ramping. The problems on my end are as follows :)

- how can I set the exposure I am looking for since the image that ML will aquire will be definitely underexposed during night time?

- should I meter for highlights or for shadows? From my trials and errors, I've learned that it's best to expose for highlights during sunset / sunrise, but I maybe wrong...

- what max ramp speed should I use? I've tried a few settings, but I always end up with serious flicker. Ok, it is manageable with manual deflickering or auto of some kind but it takes a lot of work, even when I'm shooting RAW. I understand that there ain't a simple answer to that, I'm just looking for some values that will produce the least flickering or some guide to understand the values in ML. For example: If the next day will be cloudy, the value of max ramp should be X. If it's gonna be a sunny day, the value should be close to Y. Same thing applies for the sunset option.

- How can I manage the interval between shots? The reason I'm asking this is because right now ML allows us to set an interval between beginning of shots which works fine during a day or during a night-only timelapse, but it's confusing which setting should one use if, for example, the milky way shots require a 30s exposure (more or less, depending on the lens, iso, camera, etc) and a sunset / sunrise should be done at lower intervals (1-10s, depending on whatever we want to aquire). I understand that "take pictures like crazy" maybe the only option right now, but this will quickly fill the card once the sun rises or sets. Not to mention the shutter, it's a little bit too much to take extra frames during the day time, just to dump them in post. Plus, during night time, I'd rather let the sensor cool for at least 4-5 seconds before exposing for the next shot.

- Is there a possibility to allow us to set an interval between the end of one shot and the beginning of the other? Or, is there a possibility to create key shortcuts for the interval? Like left arrow should lower the time and right arrow to increase the time?

- A better solution, but harder to implement, both for ML team and users, maybe the possibility to create a file beforehand in which we can schedule the timing of sunrise/sunset and which settings to use regarding the intervalometer. Example:

05:00am - interval = 30s
06:15am - interval = 20s
06:30am - sunrise - interval = 10s
06:45am - interval = 5s

This file can be created on the computer and transferred to the ML card before starting the timelapse.

One last question: is it possible to program in ML something like this: timelapse - move to movie mode and start recording for x seconds - stop recording - move back to timelapse? That would be a killer feature and it might lead to some creative uses IF at all possible.

Thank you,