Olympus livecomp mode and fireworks

The Olympus cameras now have a feature called LIVECOMP. This is short for live composite. You set a base exposure and then the camera repeats that exposure but only allows new light to be added. You get to view this as it is happening live, hence the name, which allows you to stop the exposure when you have gathered all the information you need.

Most current Olympus cameras have the feature. You’ll find Live Composite Mode in OM-D, PEN and TOUGH cameras.

Why LIVECOMP?

olympus fireworks photo

All images in this posy Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with M.Zukio 40-150mm f/2.8 lens. F/11 4 SEC ISO 100

If you need more time to capture the light effects of your scene and were to increase your exposure time the dark areas of your image would begin to become muddy and over exposed. It is definitely a specialty feature, but one that has some great uses. For example, keeping your frame exposed to catch lightning, car trails, carnival rides and fireworks. I’ll let you imagine the others but I’m going to share some settings and images made during the fireworks from the fourth of July.

Fireworks

olympus fireworks photo

F/14 4 SEC ISO 100

With the camera firmly mounted on a Fotopro Eagle E6L tripod I found the base exposure. I was looking to render the building lights and allow the fireworks to be against a dark sky. Knowing from past experience the fireworks would have time to streak in the sky showing the burst if they had about three to eight seconds ISO 100 @ f/8. I choose four seconds for my base exposure. Once I started seeing results on the camera back I made adjustments to the aperture to allow the fireworks to record just a bit more color and changing to f/11 then f/14.

Single frame capture

olympus fireworks photo

F/14 4 SEC ISO 100

Normally, to get multiple bursts in a single frame I combine images in post-production. With the LIVECOMP in play each image you see here was done in camera. The shutter was opened and recorded a four second exposure with the shutter still open additional four second exposures were recorded adding only the new bursts of light. When I saw enough bursts were captured I ended the exposure.

Next time

In the next fireworks post I’ll share settings for automatic recording of captures using the time-lapse mode of the Lumix G9.

Yours in Creative Photography,   Bob

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