Commercial use of Live ND feature

The E-M1X has the cool Live ND filter.  It basically shoots with electronic shutter, making a bunch of shots quickly and compositing them to look like long exposure.  Or at least that’s my two second explanation.  (i’m sure there is a lot more going on under the hood…)

Most people have been applying this to seascapes, waterfalls, etc…  I wanted to show off a use with people and cars in a commercial setting.

The Live ND filter allowed me to fine tune my need for a specific shutter speed even in brighter conditions.  If I had to use filters, I couldn’t use a lens hood.  Or I would need to change filters as light conditions changed.  Either way, I was compositing pieces together and did not want to touch the camera.  Live ND worked great.  Check these two images out.

We wanted motion blur in the people to give a sense of action and movement towards and away from the establishment.  We also didn’t want faces or logos to be an attention point so we could focus on the branding.  The focus of the shoot was the association between the EV charging stations and the theater and the convenience.  These are just two in a set of images we made.

Basically I could set my shutter speed, ISO, and aperture where I wanted them, and then just adjust the Live ND setting to get the blur I was after.  That way I didn’t have to adjust shutter speed in order to change my blur amount.  Otherwise that would have also changed by exposure.  I could literally just select my blur.  Amazing.  I don’t remember what setting I used for these… but it was either 2, 3, or 4 stops of Live ND.

The blur is not 100% the same as an ND filter, but in most cases it is smooth and clean.  There are some instances where I could see the electronic shot division…but generally it is just as effective.  At the end of the day, the results never took away from the shot either.  That is most important.  Most people would not notice the difference even in the extreme cases when just viewing the image without knowing about it.

I can’t wait to find more ways to integrate Live ND into my work.  It has been a great feature that I hope gets integrated into other cameras.  Have you used this in any different or creative ways?

August 29, 2019

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