Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion

Day to Night - Metering / Live View
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Author:  shotup [ Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Day to Night - Metering / Live View

Hi everyone,

What's your preferred metering method when you're shooting day to night/night to day timelapse in AV mode? Do you prefer the live view metering where you can move the white focus rectangle or do you use one of the normal metering modes (evaluative, partial, spot)?

I just came home from a day to night city scene timelapse which I have been shooting in AV mode with live view metering and it went completely wrong. I have placed the rectangle near the horizon to have a mix from the sunset light and the darker city buildings but it ended way too dark. I have to add, that the Camera was mounted to a slider and of course, this makes things not easier.

It would be interesting to know, how you guys do it.

Author:  RogerBotting [ Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Day to Night - Metering / Live View

do not rely on the meter for the actual sunset.
Do your homework first, take photos some typical sunset, record what looks best to you and start to plot them on a graph. That will give you an idea of what will work for you under similar situation.
Other folk bracket like crazy and throw out all of the shots that don't work. That also works for some people.
If this stuff was easy, you wouldn't need to ask questions.

Author:  shotup [ Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Day to Night - Metering / Live View

I'm aware that this is the most different time to shoot timelapse and that every situation is different. I'm also aware of the different "holy grail" techniques but I was just wondering if anyone has made positive or negative experiences with the metering methods mentioned above.

Author:  scotchtape [ Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Day to Night - Metering / Live View

Well, I'm usually doing the holy grail method and it works fine for me.

I have the highlight clipping warning turned on and I use the camera's meter for reference in manual mode.
Depending on the scene I decide on how much to blow out the highlights.

When I can't babysit my camera I stick it in AV and so far it's done ok (5D3 / 6D) - evaluative metering.
You may want to "guess" at exposure compensation and bump it up a bit. I hate doing this though because you never know what you're going to get.

It also depends on your style and how much you want to balance blowing highlights and getting shadow detail at night.

Author:  shotup [ Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Day to Night - Metering / Live View

Thanks for sharing your experience, scotchtape.

I tried Gunther Wegners Holy Grail method a few times (adjusting exposure manually during golden hour) but I had some serious problems, adjusting the exposure between the under and the normally exposed images in LR. Guess I need some more practice with this.

Tomorrow morning, I will be shooting a Sunrise with 3 cameras. One with GB Timelapse, one in AV Mode and on one I will manually adjust the exposure. I'm very curious about the results.

Author:  scotchtape [ Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Day to Night - Metering / Live View

What camera are you using?

I haven't watched Wegner's video in a long time - I'm not sure if he used a 2 stop difference.
The larger the exposure difference, the worse the jumps will be. And obviously your sensor makes a difference too...
Look at the crazy D600 shots vs anything else. I wish I could use that sensor!

I know it is a LOT more work but I use MAX one stop exposure difference especially for sunsets.
This is because of the DR / highlight blowout / shadow recovery issues..

So depending on the scene I might start at +1/3 then let it fall to -2/3 in the meter, then bump it back up a stop.
If the highlights are really bad I might only go 2/3 of a stop.
In the video I can't recall if he goes from +1 to -1. That is a 2 stop difference and you will get a very very noticeable change especially in color retention and shadow recovery.

BUT, if your scene has low DR then this is much less of an issue.

The huge negative is a lot of PP work and many many key frames... Also make sure you don't bump your camera!
For PP, it is not that bad if you copy and paste your develop settings and just change exposure and white balance.
If you do it consistently you can also copy and paste your 2 and 3 key frames on to each other (with minor adjustments) because the exposures should be the same relative to each other.

I've had up to maybe 30+ keyframes in one shot! Horrible to PP but what else to do...

For the 2**/3*** keyframes - matching them up gets harder and harder the more the exposure difference (obviously). It gets compounded by making heavy use of sliders (vibrance, saturation etc). If you're only one stop apart it's not that bad but if you have lots of blown highlights you will notice this flicker a bit. Like I said, it's a trade off. If you don't want this flicker and expose for the highlights, your shadows may be unrecoverable (unless you're using a super sensor like the D600).

Author:  robinma [ Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Day to Night - Metering / Live View

Shotup, apologies for jumping into your thread, but had a question related to your topic.

I shot a sunset time lapse sequence recently and it came out poorly. It was shot with a D5000, aperature priority at f5.6, evaluative/matrix metering. I was surprised at how much the exposure varied across the sequence...examples attached.

I was curious to know whether I would have any better results trying to use the spot metering method or just have to shoot in full manual.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Slide2.JPG [ 110.12 KiB | Viewed 3195 times ]
Slide1.JPG [ 108.73 KiB | Viewed 3195 times ]

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