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Thread: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

  1. #1

    Default Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    I may have discovered a handy trick for more accurately capturing beam shots.

    Camera's just don't have the dynamic range of the human eye, and they also can't capture the eye's ability to dim or brighten very quickly. This means beam shots are tough to compare and judge in a real world quantitative way.

    Well, here's a trick I used to get a slightly more accurate "real world" rendition of a flashlights capabilities. My tests were for fun only, and the method would require calibration and standardization for published review work, but I think you can see the general effect.



    I set the exposure to get a "night vision" accurate rendition (10 sec, f8.0, 1600 iso, Nikon D5000) for a valley with bright moonlight, then hit the flashlight for a brief period during that exposure (in this case 2 seconds out of 10 total).

    This gives the viewer a similar sensation to the real experience.

    Obviously if one intends to use this method for reviews/comparisons, it's imperitive to carefully time the "on/off" for the flashlight. 2 seconds is only 2/3 the exposure of 3 seconds, so if a rigorous test intends to be impartial, they'd better get the on/off time right every time and not just "One thousand one one thousand two" it in their head like I did.

    I put the GIF images in order so you can see the stars rotating across the sky.

    Anyway, I thought it was kinda neat and the images give a good impression of what it was really like in person.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    very nicely done. To me this is much more useful than whitewall beamshots. Thanks for doing this and sharing it.

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    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    I love outdoor shots. I really love gifs.

    Thanks!
    The oldtimers are forever bound to the universe of flashlights. They reside just above the torch lit stratosphere where the good photons pass by. As these oldtimers locomote on their appointed ways, occasionally an unusual glimmer from below catches their attention.

    They may give a nod or a word.

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    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    Those shots look really good, you do get to see the differences. Of course, you would have to adjust it for the particular area you are shooting, darker or lighter areas would react differently to ambient light. Also you have limits, too bright and it will totally blow out the highlights, too dim, and it will be too hard to see the beam shot.

    But if you are just doing a comparison between similar lights then this method looks very good.

    Can't wait to see more shots like this, I may even try them myself next time i'm out 'painting'
    mossyoak --> Dear God man, its your honeymoon, screw the flashlights, bring one or two and some backup batteries, and fill up all that extra room you have with condoms and alcohol.

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    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    It is true that the general sensation looks closer to the real thing because the surrounding is better seen, but, hotspot will still appear brighter than it is in reality compared to the spill of the beam, no ?

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    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    Very, Very interesting procedure. It does look live. I'll have to try your procedure next time I'm out in the field, but I'm wondering if the settings will need to be tweaked differently for a different camera.
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    Moderator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    ** moved to The Dark Room subforum ... **
    In the past we have had a light which flickered, in the present we have a light which flames, and in the future there will be a light which shines over all the land and sea.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tally-ho View Post
    It is true that the general sensation looks closer to the real thing because the surrounding is better seen, but, hotspot will still appear brighter than it is in reality compared to the spill of the beam, no ?
    I think having the sensation of dim ambient light helps the realism, but the hotspot/spill ratio is fairly well represented for the lights I used because they happen to all be pretty floody by nature. A light with a VERY intense hotspot might over expose the spot and leave the spill behind.

    There's no question the settings will vary for any location/camera/flashlight combo, so I'm sure it will take a bit of experimentation to perfect it. My wife was actually already doing the star/moon photography, and I just decided to slip the lights in there for giggles. With some fiddling and a better target area, I'm sure I could have done better.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    I would love to see this become a new standard for beamshots. Maybe take Selfbuilts 100yd beamshot idea, then use this method of exposure. We could use any road with 100 yd distance to trees. Then you get an idea of distance of side spill, idea of a hotspot, and what the distance looks like. Just saying. We could use a Mag D cell as a control light.

    Personally I find beamshot posts to be very helpful.

    Great work, and I hope we can get some more from you.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    Thanks for the "thanks". Glad you all liked it for the most part.

    So, let's do a poll and check the effectiveness of the pictures.

    What's the distance too...

    1) Fire lit red bush
    2) Bend in river (point bar on right of photo)
    3) Shrubbery at furthest reach of 3D mag spot
    4) Distant ridge line
    5) Moon

    Let's hear your guesses. This is a double blind study, because I haven't checked my GPS yet. I have some guesses I'll write down now and post before I reveal the actual distances. Obviously, having camped there dozens of times may give me an advantage...


  11. #11
    Flashaholic chenko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    This is brilliant, very very interesting procedure indeed. Thanks for sharing this idea, it got me thinking as I already previously considered how even carefully planned beamshots didn't look "real" at all, compared to what my eyes saw. Thank you again.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    Great idea and that Maglite 3D as a comparison makes the hole setup pretty comparable. Although I have no numbers, but I would bet that the Maglite 3D incan is on of the most bought lights worldwide. Right size and balance (at least to me. 2D is too dim, 4D a tad to big to wield it with ease)

    Cheers
    Thorsten

  13. #13

    Default Re: Outdoor beam shot Giff (exposure trick)

    Quote Originally Posted by entoptics View Post
    Obviously if one intends to use this method for reviews/comparisons, it's imperitive to carefully time the "on/off" for the flashlight. 2 seconds is only 2/3 the exposure of 3 seconds, so if a rigorous test intends to be impartial, they'd better get the on/off time right every time and not just "One thousand one one thousand two" it in their head like I did.
    why don't you just take one picture 8" @f/8, iso1600 without any flashlight being turned on and then 2" @f/8 pictures for each flashlight with the flashlight turned on?

    At home you could just add the flashlight-off-picture to each flashlight-on-picture and you should get the same effect with pretty comparable "flashlight-turned-on-times"
    Last edited by llama-power; 09-29-2010 at 06:16 AM. Reason: wrong word...

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