Time Smoother - Workflow demo, Feedback requested

Tue, 2012-10-23, 07:21

Here is the demonstration video of my Lightroom Timelapse Plugin – the working title is Time Smoother. The purpose of this plugin is to help to smooth timelapses with changing exposure especially like sunrise (night-to-day) and sunset (day-to-night) timelapses.

If you’re interested in timelapsing and this plugin/workflow please give me feedback below this post, on Twitter (@irieger) or in the comments on Vimeo.

On vacation I shot many timelapses, some of them sunrises or sunsets. At this time I only knew one tool to help smoothing RAW timelapses in conjunction with Adobe Lightroom and this wasn’t working as I expected the times I tried it and I always had to manually work around. And the new version is very expensive. So while still on vacation, after getting up at 3:00am to shoot a night-to-day timelapse and setting up the cameras I had plenty of time to think about the problem. A solution of how easy this could be processed came to my mind and I asked a friend experienced in Python to give me a “kickstart” with a little code example of how I could process the XMP data.

He sent me a small example which I used to write an algorithm that fit my needs. The script was really simple but after coming back after the vacation I decided try to make this a Lightroom plugin. The Lightroom Plugin API (Application Programming Interface) is relatively easy to handle but also is missing many features. So I ended making a Lightroom frontend which then executes the script in the background. I’d prefer to have a native plugin handling everything in Lightroom itself but with the current API it’s not possible. So for now we have to write the metadata, run the plugin and then load the metadata from the files as described in the video. But I hope this will change in a coming Lightroom release. I’ve sent a feature request to Adobe.

Currently working

  • smooth out the exposure between first and last image
  • use keyframes to better specify the brightness curve
  • works with XMP sidecar files or photos with integrated XMP data
  • works on Mac OS (tested on Mountain Lion) and Windows

Planned next

  • tests with files from different cameras
  • add white balance smoothing
  • handling of exposure bracketing for HDR timelapses
  • more depending on my needs and your feedback

Thank you for reading and now please send me your thoughts.

Lightroom Timelapse-Plugin - more information soon

Wed, 2012-10-03, 15:54

In my last post I announced that I’m working on a script for exposure correction of timelapses. The usability of a simple script isn’t that good so I spontaneously started to write a Lightroom plugin for timelapses.

I’m working on a video with screen captures and explanations to introduce the plugin and ask for feedback. Sadly my screen capture tool, Screeny, has a bug with Mountain Lion so I can’t use it. According to the developer a bugfixed version is waiting for approval from Apple for nearly a month now. So I’m a bit angry and now have to look for a free alternative or wait until I get the update. Therefore I need some more time for the video than I planned. But I hope to finish it this week and write a bit more the next days.

Photokina 2012

Fri, 2012-09-21, 22:45

Like I wrote before I visited Photokina now. I was in Cologne from Tuesday to Wednesday and met a friend, David Leuck. On Tuesday we made a photo tour to the historic city of Cologne. We ended with shooting the sunset at one of the photographers meeting points, at the Hohenzollern Bridge where you have a nice view to the Cologne Cathedral, the Rhine and the cityscape of the historic city. We were relatively early for the sunset so I spontaneously decided to timelapse it. This shot may be part of a timelapse collection I plan to cut soon.

On Wednesday we went to the Photokina itself. A big crowd was already in the queue at the entrance but in the big area of the exhibition grounds the crowd dispersed so it was relatively easy to see and test all we wanted without waiting or with only having to wait few minutes. The main problem I experienced is that one day isn’t enough to go to all the nice talks you want to hear at different booths. But I set my priorities before and saw all that was important for me. But to begin I got one of the best shots in my collection. In the outdoor area near the entrance hall of the south entrance there where some falconers with their animals where I got the great shot on the left.

Best things first: The talks I watched were great. The first one was somehow accidently. When I was at the Nikon booth I saw that there was a talk by Sandro Miller and Anthony Arendt about to happen. They talked about how Sandro was asked to make a short for the D800 release – Joy Ride – and how it was shot. After this I was at the Canon booth watching the funny Philip Bloom talking about the C300 and the Cinema EOS line. Later I saw Nino Leitner talking about tripods and Sebastian Wiegärtner talking about DSLRs and large chip camcorders in the movie park. All the talks where cool and I think next time I’ll plan some more time especially for the talks.

Gear-wise I was a bit disappointed from some stuff but happy about some other stuff. Here are some short comments about some stuff I tested:

  • The Sony A99 has a better viewfinder than the A77 but it’s still way inferior compared to an OVF. And in contrast to the specifications on the Sony webpage and the brochure I didn’t find 24p and 60p on the A99. Focus magnification is also still not available in video mode. So expect of clean HDMI output and the audio stuff nothing new on the A99 which excited me.
  • We were able to test the Nikon D600 at a photo dealer in Cologne so we had done this before but we saw a good thing on the D600. The D600 is capable of bracketing with 3 Frames ±2EV and ±3EV. This is good for HDR timelapsing and the point I’m really disappointed by the D800 which I liked expect of this.
  • The Cinema EOS line – especially the C300 and C500 – from Canon is really cool and nice to handle. I hope I can try them out on some shoot sometimes.
  • At the Zeiss booth I saw the one camera I really hoped to be able to try out. Equiped with the nice CP.2 50mm/T1.5 there was the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera. Handling seems cool. And the footage coming throw the web seems to speak for itself.
  • Being used to filming with foto zooms it was really nice to play with the Compact Prime and a Compat Zoom CZ.2 70-200 with an FS100. The wide focus range and fixed focus while Zooming are really nice.
  • Trying out a Glidecam with a vest was nice but it also confirmed what I read online often before: You have to pratice if you want to be good with it.

More photos from Photokina and the Cologne trip in my 500px collection “Photokina 2012”.

To end this article here is a sneak peek from my holidays in Oberstdorf. Dislcaimer: Edited and graded in the rush on the last day there to have something to show to my grandparents the next day. I then decided to upload it with this disclaimer. The final pice will get some more attention in editing and grading.

Also coming soon: I developed a little script to help me smooth my timelapses which I will write about later this month.

September is holiday time

Tue, 2012-09-11, 19:35

September is here and I’m really happy that after many long months now a month of holiday is here. While writing this I’m in Oberstdorf in the German Alps where I’m staying until Saturday. I’m here to enjoy the nature and of course shoot some timelapses and video. It’s cool to be back here after two years since my last stay here. I have some cool material and hope to finish some edits shortly after coming back home.

At home I have two days until I’m leaving again for a short trip to Photokina in Cologne where I’ll be on the 19th September. There I’m planing to try out some coole gear and of course meet some cool people from the community like Nino Leitner, Sebastian Wiegärtner and Philip Bloom.

Galleries and (social) picture platforms

Mon, 2012-04-16, 09:34

I’m unhappy with my galleries module for some time now and search for alternatives and test the out. After some time experimenting with different Lightbox solutions I decided to try the easy way and do it like it did with Vimeo and try a (social) picture platform now. After some research I decided to try Flickr and 500px. For now I’m not sure which service is best or what I’ll do in the long run. I like the layout of 500px much more than Flickr, but on Flickr I’m able to create sets without having to pay for it.

Here are the links to both platforms with the first pics I uploaded there:

Vital sign and sunset timelapse test

Sun, 2012-04-15, 21:00

Again it’s necessary: This is some vital sign which is long overdue …

I’m now studying again and use much of the free time to get some footage so my blog again was a bit out of my attention again. Now here is a little clip I shot on Friday showing a nice sunset. Tripod wasn’t set up properly so I’d have to do some heavy post processing or what I prefer get out again and shoot with better setup to get the best out of it.

I’m currently working on finishing some cuts and will upload some more stuff soon.

HALLia VENEZiA 2012 - Impressions

Wed, 2012-02-15, 11:40

It was the sunday 8 days before Rosenmontag again. This day is the day of HALLia VENEZiA (additional Website), a masquerade ball in our wonderfull city of Schwäbisch Hall along the lines of the traditional Venetian one, was celebrated. As the years before there where nice mask, robes and friendly poses. Despite -10°C at 11am many photographer and filmers where at the Globe theater where the masked participants met to pose for the photographers and then went through the streets.

This year of course I decided to film the event and so I followed the goings-on for hours. Beforehand I had done some interviews with people from the club organizing this event and now I’m working on a short documentation about this event. To show some impressions I decided to do the rough cut you see above. The cut of the docu will take some time but then I’ll publish it here of course.

“Technical details”

I was recently asked which camera and lenses I used so here are some information about the gear used. I filmed on the NEX-5n while my father used his A77. The clip mostly contains recordings from the NEX cause my father had problems with the focus so I only used some of his shots. The lenses I used are the Sony SAL-2875 and the SAL-70200.

For shots with my shoulder rig I tried the Sony SEL-1855 (f3.5 to 5.6) which I lent from a friend to test especially the stabilization. After some shots I decided to switch back to my 28-75 cause the handling of the small 18-55 for the NEX is bad. It’s to small for use on the rig I think cause with the follow focus you have problems to use the zoom ring. And I don’t have NDs for this lens and the aperture is a bit bad… So the handheld shots are also mostly SAL-2875 with stabilization in FCPX which surprised me with its picture quality when I first used it.


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@irieger: @loltimo Gut schütteln vorm Aufmachen! 2014-06-07 18:35

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