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Time lapse support - day/night transition




I would like to suggest support for time lapse photography - specially for day/night transition.

For time lapse photography the transition from day/night, resp. night/day is a very challenging task (some call it the "holy grail" of time lapse photography).

The problem is that you have to change your camera settings from time to time until it is completely dark. (then you stay with a max. exposure time, max. ISO appropriate for your camera/lense).

For sure you can setup a capture plan in BYE based on your experiences with increasing exporsure time/ISO. There is also special time lapse software for post processing which allows to smooth the transition.

But the conditions allways differ (some clouds or dust may covering the sun, direction of the camera etc.). And I think it is allways preferable to change the settings during imaging than to "repair" it afterwards by software.

The idea would be to change the exposure time/ISO setting not according a fixed plan, but dynamically based on the last image.

E.g. before starting you specify a max. exposure time and max. ISO (this settings will be used, if it is completely dark).

At the afternoon the imaging will start at a very low exposure time/ISO.As it becomes darker BYE should increase exposure/ISO until the max. settings are reached.

The time for changing the settings might be determined by a setting like "allowed brightness range".

I think (what ever evidence that has :) ) that this part would be not too complex to implement (which does nothing says about the efford).

For me this would be enough at the moment - but I am a very newbe to time lapse photography.

The second part may be more difficult for you to integrate in BYE: many timelapse photographer are using motorized slider and/or one or two rotators. For them this equipment has to be synchronized with BYE (you do not want that a slider moves during capturing).

I have read that some slider/rotator controlers are able to work in a "slave" mode. So I think in principle it could work, but have no clue what that means for BYE.

And for sure I have no idea what potential market that might be for you. 

What do you think about my feature suggestion?

Best regards


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This is just my opinion, but your suggestion does not seem to be astrophotograhy related, which is the stated purpose of BYE/BYN.  I would hate to see the software become bloated due to features that are outside of the mainstream workflow of astrophotography, and useful only to a few users. 

That said, as a software developer it does seem intriguing to try to implement.

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This functionality allows one to capture Image Sequences of Widefield Nighttime Skyscapes, and produce a Timelapse Video of the experience.  (This is definitely an aspect of AstroPhotography - and one underserved...)

This functionality is usually called "Exposure Ramping" (or "Bulb Ramping"), and is available in a few pieces of Firmware such as Magic Lantern as well as some Specialty Intervalometers such as Timelapses+.

This functionality is one of the few areas of AP Imaging which is nearly Exclusive to DSLRs.  

And one of the areas for which BackyardEOS/Nikon might be uniquely situated...

1) BYE/BYN already supports the robust connectivity between Laptop and DSLR - including control of Tv/Bulb Shutter and Image Storage

2) BYE/BYN already supports generation and execution of Capture Plans

3) BYE/BYN already supports generation of AVI Files from the resulting collection of Images (although only LiveView BMP/JPG captures)

So, it would seem that it is neither a stretch to see BYE/BYN add such a Feature, nor that such a Feature is "Outside Core BYE/BYN AP Imaging Focus".

Rather, as there seems a large surge in Interest surrounding Timelapse Imaging (especially Milkyway Nightscapes), there just might be an Incremental Market for BYE/BYN if such a Feature were Added!!

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I agree that adding this type of functionality is definitely astrophotographically related. I often use Backyard EOS to do night time time lapses, as well as daytime time lapses. It would be great to bridge the two together. It is almost possible right now, as the capture plan center has up to 25 rows to use for different settings, so you could set up a gross ramp from daylight to nighttime. It would be tedious and coarse, but could sort of work. One idea would be to create a file (perhaps a .csv from Excel) that has a table that includes the same information as the Capture Plan Center. An imager could set up exactly the ramp they want, varying the exposure, aperture and ISO as they see fit. It could have hundreds of rows to provide a very fine ramp. Backyard EOS would just read the file and run from there. Of course this would have to be parsed and error checked and all that other software stuff, but it does seem doable (I am an EE by trade, I think software folks are all magicians). 

Just my 2 cents, but I think this would be a very powerful new feature that lots of us amateur astrophotographers would love (we do need something to do while we wait for true darkness after all).

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2 hours ago, astroman133 said:

You must be running an old version of BYE. Version 3.1.10, which was released over a year and a half ago, increased the number of rows from 25 to 100. You can also specify up to 999 exposures per row.

The current production release is 3.1.16 and the most recent pre-release version is 3.1.17 RC2.

And you can have up to 100 rows nows with the premium edition.

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