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It's difficult to pull of a time lapse with long exposure. But what you can do is some visual trickery. If you look at these files here, let's make them a bit larger. I did quite a bit of options. So, we did a short exposure then we opened it up a bit longer, here is a 2 1/2 second exposure Long F stop so we would get the longer time. You could also put an, ND filter on. 13 second exposure, short exposure. So, I really just varied this and I like some of these results here, notice for example on the 13 second exposure that the truck driving through becomes just a long streak of lights, of course with these longer exposures your definitely Going to see quite a bit of noise in the image itself, so that will need to get cleaned up.
But basically, I experimented with all sorts of exposures. And I like these 13 and 25 second exposures the best. Look at these long, almost light painting like shots, where the tail lights and the bounce and the vibration Become streaks of light floating through the sky. It's looking pretty cool here overall. And I think that the sweet spot is somewhere between the 10 second and the 25 second mark. But, we've got some variety here. There's a 46 second exposure, a 60 second exposure And I just mixed it up.
Alright, with all this variety here, let's open these up and just take a quick look at them inside of Camera Raw. You can also do this inside of Lightroom if you choose. Across the board, I've already developed these files here, nothing too major, but let's go to one of the noisiest images. We'll take the image that was shot for 25 seconds. And you'll notice we definitely have some clipping across the board here. Now remember, clipping indicators could be turned on with these two little triangles so you could see the problem.
And what I need to do is back the whites off a bit. Now, a little bit of clipping is going to be natural, but we don't want too much clipping, otherwise, all the detail's lost. It's looking pretty good there. And you'll notice that I've dialed in a bit of a custom white balance, just manually to taste, feels good. Zooming in here to 100% We need to judge the noise. Now, by default, this image was pretty noisy. You'll see it there. But, looking at 100%, it's easy to see details and, I'll start by pulling down noise in the luminescence channel.
Now, this doesn't need to go completely silky. That just goes too far and softens the image but, somewhere around there feels pretty good. I could use the luminescence detail slider as sort of a threshold. Holding down the space bar it's easy to pan and move around and look at other parts of the image to judge. Let's turn those clipping indicators off. Not bad. Pull a little bit a color noise out. And all in all, that feels pretty good. Now, you're welcome to use the tone curve if you want. For example, maybe pull the highlights down just slightly.
And again, if we look at the clipping indicator, that feels pretty good overall. Alright, with that done. I've gone applied a basic crop, now you'll notice here that the crop can be rotated. Let me clear that out for a second. I'll choose 16 by 9, or 9 to 16 from the pop-up, and draw. And looking at the dashboard, it's a little crooked. By dragging on the outside here, I could straighten that And decide if I want any of the dashboard in the shot.
Now, I'm going to go just past it. And that looks pretty good overall. When I press the return key once, it applies the crop. And looking at that image, I like it. Remember, you can toggle the preview off and on, I can see the curves adjustment there and let's take a look here at the basic adjustment. That's definitely improved. Alright, feels good. We'll select all here and click synchronize. Now, when I do this, I choose what to sync, and I want a consistent white balance across these images And importantly let's take the crop adjustment as well, so that everything is consistently cropped across all images.
This'll give me a nice, consistent framing and the horizon line should stay the same. All right,looks good. I can click, OK. All of those settings are applied. And then, it's really simple. You could choose to write these files out directly to a format like JPEG or TIFF. Or, if using Adobe After Effects and your machine is fast enough, you could actually import the raw files directly. I'm going to show you both work flows. Here in Adobe CameraRaw, I'll click save images, and write these out as high quality files.
You can use JPEG or TIFF. And remember feel free to assign a color space that works for you. Perhaps rec 709. When you're ready click ,Save. While those are running, you can then also just click, Done to store the settings of these items. Now that those updated settings are stored, and the sequenced files are being written to disk. We're ready to head into aftereffects and assemble these for a very dreamy type approach.
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