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Bracketing sequences


cuyeda

Question

I have a Canon R6 MKII connected, BYE 3.2.3 and trying to figure out how to do bracketing exposures. Is there a way I can program this in a Imaging sequence?

I am trying to do this for the solar eclipse April 8, 2024. Solutions would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Cliff

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No, bracketing is not supported by BYE, because it is either not supported by the Canon SDK or perhaps by the camera itself. In any case, near totality you will not have time to bracket your exposures because the brightness is changing too quickly to take the extra exposures.

Bracketing in the camera, with no computer, is best used when you have an unchanging image where you are unsure of the correct exposure and so would like to take multiple shots of that same scene with only the aperture changing say at the set f/stop then a 1/3 stop darker and 1/3 stop brighter. It is not really applicable for a quickly changing eclipse situation. You could do the same thing with your capture plan. Also changing the aperture requires that a lens be used where the aperture can be changed automatically.

For the 2017 eclipse I used Eclipse Orchestrator because it is optimized specifically for eclipse photography. It also lets you configure BULB exposures with fractional durations like 1.5 seconds, where BYE only allows 1 second or 2 seconds, etc.

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On 2/14/2024 at 7:20 PM, astroman133 said:

No, bracketing is not supported by BYE, because it is either not supported by the Canon SDK or perhaps by the camera itself. In any case, near totality you will not have time to bracket your exposures because the brightness is changing too quickly to take the extra exposures.

Bracketing in the camera, with no computer, is best used when you have an unchanging image where you are unsure of the correct exposure and so would like to take multiple shots of that same scene with only the aperture changing say at the set f/stop then a 1/3 stop darker and 1/3 stop brighter. It is not really applicable for a quickly changing eclipse situation. You could do the same thing with your capture plan. Also changing the aperture requires that a lens be used where the aperture can be changed automatically.

For the 2017 eclipse I used Eclipse Orchestrator because it is optimized specifically for eclipse photography. It also lets you configure BULB exposures with fractional durations like 1.5 seconds, where BYE only allows 1 second or 2 seconds, etc.

Although, isn't near and during 'Totality' the exact time for 'exposure bracketing' according to many cited official articles: Such as this one How to Photograph a Total Solar Eclipse (mreclipse.com) And I quote: "bracket the exposures over a range of shutter speeds...".  

The problem I found was that 'Elipse Orchestrator' does not support as many cameras including mine.  Nor do I think the 'R-model' mentioned above.  Where as, 'O-Telescopes' software appears to be more 'modern' in its programming.  

I also was looking for assistance along these same lines, that I couldn't get it to shoot faster than '1-second-ish' between each shot.  So I was still looking for more control and 'Exposure-Bracketing' would be nice too.  It would seem like an SDK would have these options.  If the camera is set to 'M' and the AWB is on... just use the in-camera settings.  But I still want to use 'Live-View' on the computer.  I don't care about saving images or video on the computer. 

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My recollection of the capture plan that I used for the 2017 eclipse was that I had to make sure that I had about 1.25 seconds between exposures. This was using Eclipse Orchestrator and saving the images to a fast SD card in the camera.

I am pretty sure that the Canon SDK does not support exposure bracketing. So it would be up to the BYE developers to attempt to simulate it. I am just a user as you are, but I am also a retired software developer and I think that it may be possible to support bracketing at the application level, but there would have to be a compelling use case where that would be a broad benefit to BYE users and it is probably not something that could be made available between now and April. However I do not want to speak for the developers regarding if they would agree to try to implement such an enhancement and when it could be released.

I followed the link that you provided and saw that it is an article written by Fred Espenak. He is a very acclaimed eclipse photographer. I did not read the entire article but I found no explanation of what he meant by the use of the word bracket. That would have to be compared to what Canon means by their use of the word bracket.

As far as I know, with my Canon T5i not connected to a computer, I can enable bracketing and specify how much the exposure changes, then press the shutter 3 times to take the 3 bracketed shots. I do not believe that the ability to control/specify exposure bracketing is supported by the Canon SDK. However, that is just my remembrance of some playing around that I did with the SDK a few years ago.

 

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19 minutes ago, astroman133 said:

My recollection of the capture plan that I used for the 2017 eclipse was that I had to make sure that I had about 1.25 seconds between exposures. This was using Eclipse Orchestrator and saving the images to a fast SD card in the camera.

I am pretty sure that the Canon SDK does not support exposure bracketing. So it would be up to the BYE developers to attempt to simulate it. I am just a user as you are, but I am also a retired software developer and I think that it may be possible to support bracketing at the application level, but there would have to be a compelling use case where that would be a broad benefit to BYE users and it is probably not something that could be made available between now and April. However I do not want to speak for the developers regarding if they would agree to try to implement such an enhancement and when it could be released.

I followed the link that you provided and saw that it is an article written by Fred Espenak. He is a very acclaimed eclipse photographer. I did not read the entire article but I found no explanation of what he meant by the use of the word bracket. That would have to be compared to what Canon means by their use of the word bracket.

As far as I know, with my Canon T5i not connected to a computer, I can enable bracketing and specify how much the exposure changes, then press the shutter 3 times to take the 3 bracketed shots. I do not believe that the ability to control/specify exposure bracketing is supported by the Canon SDK. However, that is just my remembrance of some playing around that I did with the SDK a few years ago.

 

I tried with another software: APT: https://astrophotography.app/ I was able to create a plan there that had different exposures changes.  However, it had another limitation that was worse.  I could not use 'Live-View' and execute the plan at the same time.  That would not be acceptable.  Perhaps that was because I was using the 'Demo' mode?  But somehow I doubt it.  

Using 'Bracketing' and multiple shots at once is important for many reasons.  Because you take the shots and compile them in post.  You use stack software.  I've already done that with 'Sun' photography.  Ok that was not "exposure" bracketing, that was more focus-bracketing.  However, the Camera (at least my camera) does not allow you to use the "in-Camera" interval with 'Focus-Bracketing' turned on.  But you can turn on AEB.  I think I said 'AWB'.  I meant AEB.  But these are not Windows-Software settings. 

Either way the plan in theory is to continuously take a series of shots up until near totality....  Then start to take different exposures in sets.  (if I could find software that would do that...)

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On 2/14/2024 at 4:20 PM, astroman133 said:

No, bracketing is not supported by BYE, because it is either not supported by the Canon SDK or perhaps by the camera itself. In any case, near totality you will not have time to bracket your exposures because the brightness is changing too quickly to take the extra exposures.

Bracketing in the camera, with no computer, is best used when you have an unchanging image where you are unsure of the correct exposure and so would like to take multiple shots of that same scene with only the aperture changing say at the set f/stop then a 1/3 stop darker and 1/3 stop brighter. It is not really applicable for a quickly changing eclipse situation. You could do the same thing with your capture plan. Also changing the aperture requires that a lens be used where the aperture can be changed automatically.

For the 2017 eclipse I used Eclipse Orchestrator because it is optimized specifically for eclipse photography. It also lets you configure BULB exposures with fractional durations like 1.5 seconds, where BYE only allows 1 second or 2 seconds, etc.

Ok, understand no bracketing possible due to the Canon SDK. I am getting nervous trying to determine my options. I tested and purchased the Eclipse Orchestrator after viewing a few videos with the authors demonstrating the program. Downloaded the trial, and tested my camera would connect a shutter release command via USB. My camera Canon R6 Mark II was not listed in the model selection, but there was a Beta version to update additional camera models (unknown models).  After purchasing the Pro license everything else seems to work.  I ran into an error with the Script Wizard. 

I know this is a BYE forum, but just in case someone can help me. I await an answer from Eclipse Orchestrator.

Too many exposures.JPG

Edited by cuyeda
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The error is pretty clear that you are trying to take too many exposures during totality. The obvious solution is to reduce the number of exposures until EO no longer complains. I would suggest that the Flash Spectrum be the first to go unless you have a spectroscopy grating that you can install and remove on the fly.

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13 hours ago, astroman133 said:

The error is pretty clear that you are trying to take too many exposures during totality. The obvious solution is to reduce the number of exposures until EO no longer complains. I would suggest that the Flash Spectrum be the first to go unless you have a spectroscopy grating that you can install and remove on the fly.

Rick,

That would be the most obvious per the error message. However I have tried reducing number of sets, and exposures to a minimum. Also reducing each set until I only have two, then the error message goes away. This makes the software useless IMHO. I will try building my own script next. Thanks for the input, and I will try to contact the author of the software, which I am told is a black hole. Thanks for the tip on the spectroscopy, and no, I will not need it.

Otherwise, I will be back trying to build a script on BYE.

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56 minutes ago, cuyeda said:

Rick,

That would be the most obvious per the error message. However I have tried reducing number of sets, and exposures to a minimum. Also reducing each set until I only have two, then the error message goes away. This makes the software useless IMHO. I will try building my own script next. Thanks for the input, and I will try to contact the author of the software, which I am told is a black hole. Thanks for the tip on the spectroscopy, and no, I will not need it.

Otherwise, I will be back trying to build a script on BYE.

I can't provide support for Eclipse Orchestrator, I've never even used it, but have you tried rebooting just in case it clears the error you get?

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You can't take 5 1 second exposures in 5 seconds. It is just not  physically possible. You would probably need upwards of 12 seconds for 5 1 second exposures.  This is because it takes at least 1.4 seconds after the shutter closes until the camera is ready to open the shutter for the next image. This is what I found with EO and my T5i at the  2017 eclipse.

I only took 1 image at each event during the 2017 eclipse.  I remember tightening down the time to where I had about a 1.4 or 1.5 second delay between exposures when it got near to totality.

IMO, the thing that thing that the BYE developers could do to improve the usefulness of BYE would be to allow the user to set exposure duration and delay between exposures to values with a 1/10 second accuracy.

If you  want a copy of my script from the 2017 eclipse, send me a Private Message with our email and I will send it to you.

 

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I'm not an expert on EO, but did toy with it before the 2017 Eclipse.  My understanding is that EO works within the anticipated timings of your Exposure Plan AND the anticipated Totality for your specified Location.

Looking at the screen behind your Error, I see that you have choices such as RAW mode and an ISO of only 200.  Both choices will result in longer Exposures.

Does the R6mkII support Smaller ROI such as APS-C??  This may be factored into the Exposure Timing.

Faster ISO will allow Shorter Exposures - also factored into the Exposure Timing (iirc).

But Rick is correct - any Software based on the API for connectivity and control will be subject to the Canon's minimum API-based Exposure Delays (which includes the Image Processing Time for the Digic Chip without allowing for Onboard Memory Buffering).

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FYI the problem that I was having has been solved. Thank you to everyone who provided input to solve my Eclipse Orchestrator issue. Even though this is BYEOS support page. It's is all about the community providing solutions for one another. I hope I can pay it forward to others in the future.

I was entering the GPS coordinates incorrectly. Someone I met here pointed the issue out, and that solved my problem.

Wishing everyone clear skies on April 8, 2024!

Cliff

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4 hours ago, admin said:

I can't provide support for Eclipse Orchestrator, I've never even used it, but have you tried rebooting just in case it clears the error you get?

Thank you for the support space here in your chat group. I do have the BYE, and have used it in the past when I had the DSLR, but now using dedicated CMOS cameras for all other Astronomy imaging. For the upcoming eclipse, I wanted to use my newer mirrorless camera for the sequenced exposures.

If I can share with others that having a space to come for general support is something the other software does not. I tried calling the author at Daystar Filters which Fred Bruenjes is co-owner of and was rudely shut down by the staff answering the phone. I sent emails, and today a phone call. To be fair, the EO does work as it should, but no outlet forum, Facebook etc. to bounce questions when having issues.

So anyone thinking of BYE for their needs, your support is appreciated. You could have bounced me into the deleted section. For general astronomy using a DSLR or similar cameras, you have the best option!

Cliff

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