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Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:13 AM   #16
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TLCS has it's place

I remind my shooters that manual is always preferable, but if it means getting that once-in-a-lifetime shot, go Green Mode!
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:19 AM   #17
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So how Doug would you shoot a day to night timelapse? During the daytime part of the shot you need to use either ND or the shutter to keep the iris above f11 or better still f8 to avoid diffraction effects, then at night you are likely to require a totally different setup most likely no shutter, iris wide open, maybe even a little gain depending on what you are trying to achieve. The slowest response speed of the TLCS is slow enough not to be effected by transient changes yet the camera will slowly adjust itself to suit the general lighting/exposure trend providing a smooth, seamless transition from day to night. If you lock off for daylight you are going to have to disturb the camera to switch out ND or the shutter, then change the iris and possibly gain settings. What happens if you start off overcast and the sun comes out? Sure if your locked to one exposure you'll get the most dramatic change in the scene but you can easily end up with a totally blown out shot.

There is a time and a place for both fixed exposure and variable exposure. It's like the difference between a manual and auto transmission on a car. You wouldn't want an auto transmission for a motor race, but if you are doing serious off-road driving or driving in stop-start traffic an auto is hard to beat. TLCS is a option that may produce a better result in some circumstances but not in others. I've said this elsewhere but it is knowing when to use the most appropriate tool that makes you a competent operator, as with any trade, use the right tool for the job. TLCS is not 'training wheels' it is a very useful tool that can be customised to your needs and for some applications can produce a result that is superior to a locked off or manual exposure.

I also don't believe that it takes just 5 minutes to teach someone how to expose a camera correctly, especially if they are not a camera operator or photographer. At least by using TLCS I know they will come back with something useable. It may not be perfect or ideal, but we don't live in a perfect world and on military flights the crew often have more important things to deal with than whether the camera they have been asked to take is set up correctly.

There are many people here on these forums that do need to use auto functions when they are starting out. There is a lot to learn and the use of say, auto exposure may be beneficial if it allows the learner to concentrate on manual focus. Once they have mastered focus they can then move on to manual exposure. Better to master one skill at a time than be bogged down struggling with information overload.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:24 AM   #18
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learning experience

I love you guys! Keep talking and try to not take it Personally! We all learn from these discussions in ways we'd never have a chance to otherwise. Be civil and have fun--you obviously have great respect for one another's opinions. Thank you for sharing.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:26 AM   #19
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Hi Piotr,

Nope. We'll have to fundamentally disagree on this one. I think it is a waste of time to learn how to use things that you eventually won't want to use once you understand them. So how will they know they won't need it unless they understand it first? Because other people who know more about it tell them so. That's good enough for me.

If someone is as at the level where they have to ask what TLCS is, even though they have owned the camera for quite some time, it is my advice not to even waste time with it. Apply that time and effort to learning what you really need to know to use the camera in the most professional manner.

I just bought a new custom mountain bike this week. There were some components that I knew exactly what I wanted. But in other areas, I relied on the advice of my mechanic at the bike shop who knows a hell of a lot more about the various parts than I want to. I didn't need to compare every aspect of brand X component vs. brand Y to make a decision about what to buy. I relied on the advice of an expert and did not waste my time studying all the options myself. Okay, maybe not the greatest analogy, but I think it fits. When someone who has given me good advice in the past, and clearly knows more about it than I do tells me something, I listen.

Here's what a friend, who has been reading this thread (but isn't a DVi member), emailed me this morning:

"Up until last semester, I was teaching film-making at the University of ______. Like you, when the kids asked about certain gizmos on the cameras that I knew would trip them up, I told them, "Ignore it, that's for amateurs. You won't be using it. And if you do, you'll get a failing grade on this project. Of course, I would explain why I didn't want them wasting time with X function, much like you explain in your post. It's a matter of mind-set (professional approach). Again, you and I are in total agreement."


I think that sums up my attitude perfectly.
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Last edited by Doug Jensen; July 2nd, 2010 at 11:10 AM.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Better to master one skill at a time than be bogged down struggling with information overload.
I disagree. it is because there is so much to learn that it is better to master the proper skills in the first place than to waste time with training wheels and other techniques that are going to have be unlearned. Maybe you won't agree, but I know that the average person can learn more than one function at a time. This isn't brain surgery. Someone doesn't really have to master focusing before they can move on to the next level and learn how to expose. It can, and should be be learned all at once. Good video needs to be exposed, focused, white balanced, and composed properly. Leave out any of those elements, and you might as well have stayed home and practiced until you could handle them all at once.

I could say more, but I stand by what I've posted previoulsy.

I don't have the time to explain how to shoot a tricky timelapse, but I would, however, love to see a link to a timelapse you have shot where using TLCS the way you have decribed it really made the difference.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:58 AM   #21
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I LOVE this thread. It hits on so many pet peeves of mine, especially re: teaching people about video or any type of image creation. When I was teaching college classes in Basic and Advanced Photography, it was always my dream to hand every new student a basic 4x5 view camera and have them leave their auto-exposure SLR's at home. That way, I could teach them how photography works from the ground up. Then, the only way I'd let them touch the Auto-anything functions in their own camera would be when they could demonstrate to me that they understood how an image is properly created. Back then, my students were all using film-based cameras, but the techniques are basically the same.

I have a possible long-term timelapse project coming up so this thread is very timely <pardon the pun>. However, instead of my EX1, I'll probably be doing it with a small digital camera and drop all the .jpg's into an image sequence in Quicktime. Where we are talking about exposure variations across seconds or minutes, I might have to figure out how to properly expose my shots when each of them are separated by hours. Any ideas on how to make this type of sequence smooth when the shots are so far apart?

Keep these ideas coming guys.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 11:12 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I don't have the time to explain how to shoot a tricky timelapse, but I would, however, love to see a link to a timelapse you have shot where using TLCS the way you have decribed it really made the difference.
But that's the point, a day to night timelapse shot using TLCS is not tricky or hard to do, it's really very simple one you have set up TLCS to limit the cameras adjustments to the range you are happy with. I guess you pro's just like to make life difficult for yourselves.

YouTube - Norway and the northern lights At 02.06 you will se a day to night sunset shot using TLCS. Even thought the camera is shooting in to the sun and the sky goes from cloudy to clear and eventually you see the moon and even rare noctilucent clouds the exposure is not un-natural or unrealistic. A single fixed exposure would have just gone from day to dark.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 11:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Morrison View Post
Then, the only way I'd let them touch the Auto-anything functions in their own camera would be when they could demonstrate to me that they understood how an image is properly created.
Great approach, Dave! Don't let the Auto do things instead of yourself, but FOR yourself - doesn't it prove my point that even the "silly TLCS function" (as described in one of the first comments to the OP's question here) should be fully understood BEFORE dismissing it *definitely* can be justified?

Ouch, - I promised to shut up :)
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 11:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
At 02.06 you will se a day to night sunset shot using TLCS. Even thought the camera is shooting in to the sun and the sky goes from cloudy to clear and eventually you see the moon and even rare noctilucent clouds the exposure is not un-natural or unrealistic. A single fixed exposure would have just gone from day to dark.
Am I missing something? It just looks like a regular sunset timelapse to me. That's you're best justification for people learning to use TLCS? I stand by my previous posts and my own timelapse procdures where exposure does not change. Maybe it's just Youtube, but the red sky at abnout 2:10 looks totally blown out with banding in the clouds. I assume it's a Youtube shortcoming and not the TLCS?

BTW, the northern lights stuff after that point is fantastic. Nice stuff.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 11:55 AM   #25
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Here's another shot I did a couple of weeks ago from a hotel bedroom in Kuala Lumpu. Shot over 6 hours.
YouTube - Kuala Lumpur Day to Night Timelapse using TLCS Very simple day to night shot where the exposure range went from 1/250th shutter, 0db, f8 to +3db, f2.8, no shutter. Shots like this are just so easy and simple to do with TLCS. One single exposure would not have worked as starting at 1/250th or 1/4ND at f8 would have led to nothing but an almost totally black image after sunset. TLCS handles this with ease.

Dave: If you shots are separated by hours then exposure changes are inevitable as in one frame you might have a beautiful clear sky, the next cloudy, then back to clear sky. This will make the sequence flicker, especially if you use a fixed exposure as each frame will have a different average brightness level. One way to do it is to use a much shorter interval and then use frame blending between frames for the first pass and then speed the clip up to the desired speed in a second pass. I would strongly recommend auto iris, but probably fixed white balance. Gain settings will depend on what it is you are shooting.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 12:06 PM   #26
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Thanks Alister. That sounds like a very good approach to use. BTW, this timelapse will be for a developer and will show a large building during the entire construction period. I'm already designing a weatherproof box, power source, etc. etc. to make this thing work. I might have to include some sort of USB port so I can pull the images out of the camera without having to touch it and risk knocking it off position. I've done similar timelapse shots with digital still cameras before, but never anything stretching over months and months.

Also, those aurora borealis shots were stunning. That phenomenon is one of the things I want to see before I die!! ;-)
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 01:27 PM   #27
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Different ways to achieve the same or at least similar results. The versatility of the EX cameras.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 05:43 PM   #28
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Swaying around in a big crane.

The other day I was shooting a big construction. It was a building an it had a huge crane and I used it hanging a basket under it. The crane took me around as a helicopter and the light was very different between the houses and also very different from one side of the house to the other. My goal was to make it steady in Motion an speed it up and use it as a long "flying" sequence. I used TLCS to make the camera control the changing of light in a smooth way.
I am a rookie and I read your comments about if TLCS is right or wrong.
I read a lot of treads from both Doug and Alistair and have big respect for both of you and your work.
I am curios to hear how you would handel a situation like this. Can you really make such smooth changes in light manually at the same time as you hold the camera steady and controlling the zoom?
(sorry for my strange English, I am swedish)
Thanks for sharing!
/Anders
PS I am scared of hights so I almost peed my pants.
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 12:05 AM   #29
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I'm with Allister 100%. I also want to say that as a 25 year professional with 3 1/2 years experience on this camera, until I read this thread I didn't have the foggiest idea what TLCS was. Thanks folks. No I know.

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Old July 3rd, 2010, 10:31 AM   #30
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Anders. It all comes down to the end result. If the end result is better through the use of TLCS, then go for it. If on the other hand you can operate the zoom, focus and expose at the same time then that would be preferable as you will should be a better judge of the exposure than TLCS. However if trying to manage too many things at once is giving you a problem, possibly creating a safety hazzard as you are become too focussed on the camera and not on where you are, reduce the workload by making use of the tools the camera provides. Initially I would just use auto iris. If that can't cope on it's own you may need to revert to TLCS.
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