For my final piece for my Photography GCSE, I'm looking to recreate this kind of effect. I'm looking at capturing a couple of thousand photos with an intervalometer, and then combining them in Photoshop.
I have to do this in school, using Photoshop CS5.5. As it will be dealing with very large number of images, I was wondering if there was some method of creating macros that will change themselves.
My plan was to import the images to layers using Bridge, then either creating guides and doing the selection-delete manually, or, as I'm hoping, using some macro (I'm not sure of the correct Photoshop terminology) to do all of this for me.
I've never looked at this aspect of Photoshop, so any and every piece of advice you can give would be awesome. Or if there's a better way of doing this, please let me know.
The guy who does the image you posted simply combines the 2 images in photoshop. Not sure about thousands or why you would need thousands (please feel free to post), but the photos are not time lapse, but long exposures using a camera in a fixed position, then combine the 2 images in photoshop (since the camera was fixed, you don't have to spend a lot of time lining the 2 up) and make a mask for the top one and use a gradient to make the mask so you get a long, slow combine of images.
Well, you could use multiple pictures to do a sort of HDR I suppose for each night or day shot or do a small series of exposures on the tiny details of an image, but it sounds like a lot of effort for a relatively small quality improvement.
What I would do:
mount your camera on a sturdy tripod and compose your image. Take a ton of photos from morning through night - all from the same position, focal length, etc. Vary your ISO, F-stop, and shutter speed, but nothing else.
Find your best pix. Compose for HDR if you've bracketed exposures (or done stack or rack focusing).
Bring them both into Photoshop in the same image. Add a mask (Layer >> Layer Mask >> Reveal All) to the top image. Click the layer mask and switch to the gradient tool. Get a nice, plain, white to black gradient. Start playing with the gradient to get a good mix. Use the eraser, brush, and whatever other tools you like to get the right mix between the front and back images.
You may find you have to tweak parts from one image to the next. During your initial exposure, try exposing for very specific areas, make notes about what's exposed for where and include them in Photoshop.
I'd say, experiment with it. After all, it's school and you should be failing in school. If you're not failing, you're not learning!
We've done very little on the theory side of photography, truth be told. The subject is focused, sadly, on investigating the work of artists and trying to emulate it.
My camera is a slightly-more-advanced-than-point-and-shoot Fujifilm (HS20EXR) and I've not really looked that much into the more advanced settings.
I believe varying the ISO would be pretty much within my grasp, and as I understand it, that would also change the shutter speed. Would varying that be sufficient?
My plan, as it stands, is to set the camera up with a wall power supply on a tripod, and use the remote to capture some photos as the sun rises and as it sets. I'd hoped to set the focus manually and to just leave it. Would that do?
I'd love to be able to experiment more with it, but it's a mock exam piece to be submitted by next Tuesday, and my chosen scene is out of my grandparent's window - an hour's drive from home.
Sounds about right, but varying the ISO will also increase and decrease gain which can make undesirable static in the finished image. I think your best bet is to set it to a static ISO - the lowest one 100? - then vary the shutter speed from there. Using a wide lens with a medium f-stop (say f8-11 or higher) focused at infinity should do the trick. Use a cable release or the timer to avoid shaking the camera. You could have exposures up to 30 seconds or more at night so be ready.