Tall Tales From The Field

Get Creative By Blending or Stacking Images

When I was on the California Coast recently, I decided to take numerous exposures of the exact same scene and then blend them in a software program. I also used these jpegs to produce a  time lapse video which can be viewed here http://wp.me/p1XNt4-1yi

But I wanted to see what you could produce if you blend 100 images of a moving scene, like moving waves and clouds. It’s similar to a longer exposure but I took an exposure every 20 seconds for about 35 minutes. Below you’ll also see the result and what the scene looked like with a single  normal exposure. I actually shot 2 different scenes and present them but I also show one image where I blend both scenes, which is the bottom image.

The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean at Cambria, California

First scene with 100 images blended

 

First scene with only one normal exposure. Not quite so dramatic.

 

The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean at Cambria, California

The second scene with about 50 images blended. Not quite as dramatic as the first because I used less exposures and the clouds were moving towards the camera.  In image one, the clouds were moving from left to right in the frame.

 

Cal Coast Sunset Original_0495

The second scene shot with one normal exposure

 

The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean at Cambria, California

Both scenes blended with about 150 exposures.

 

So, if you want to get creative, try taking multiple exposures and blending them in Lightroom, Photoshop or stack them with a stacking program like  StarStax

Remember to use a tripod, a shutter release or better, an intervalometer, which programs the length between exposures for your camera. You can just sit there and watch the waves crashing upon the beach.

 

 

 

11 responses

  1. love the outcome of this idea so much have added your link to my photo help page to try out another time

    Liked by 1 person

    January 29, 2016 at 2:59 AM

  2. The result is quite interesting ! I bet it requires a lot of memory on your computer to do that.. I’m not sure mine will cooperate

    Like

    January 29, 2016 at 5:24 AM

    • Thanks, shooting in a lower size jpeg will reduce memory requirements but you can delete those files once you produce the final image.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 29, 2016 at 9:08 AM

  3. The blends are quite dreamy. I like the idea of sitting back and letting the camera do its work!

    Like

    January 29, 2016 at 1:22 PM

  4. Great post. Thanks for the StarStax link.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 30, 2016 at 2:02 PM

  5. Amy

    Wow… You are raising the bar again, Michael. Awesome!!!

    Like

    February 4, 2016 at 10:45 AM

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