A little experimentation with image stacking, 1 August 2022

As planned over the weekend, on Monday I wanted to take the Olympus Pen mirrorless to the beach and try a little image stacking, making multiple exposures on a single frame.

This is possible on the Olympus with the Experimental Lens Kit, which I had bought specifically for this technique. By setting the shutter speed to ‘bulb’ on the camera, and holding down the button while making separate exposures with the independent shutter on the lens, it should be possible to stack many images onto a single frame.

Doing this on film with an older camera has been possible for a long time, and I achieved mixed success with the Agfa Click-1 at the Feira da Março earlier in the year, but it was always something that has eluded me on a digital camera, so the Lomography Experimental Lens Kit was an obvious workaround.

Image stacking with the Agfa Click-1

The only restriction is that the lens shutter fires at 1/100s and the aperture is a fixed f8, so you need reasonably low light (or a neutral density filter) to make it work properly.

Fortunately, the day got off to a fairly miserable start, as a sea fog had rolled in early in the morning and persisted for the rest of the day. The downside of course was that the sky was a uniform grey. At the very least I had wanted some blue sky to give the images a little … punch.

Nevertheless, I made a stab at it. Under the trees the light was subdued enough to gain two or three multiple exposures, but in the main, and especially on the cliff overlooking the beach, the stacked images were grossly overexposed. The lowest exposure setting of the Olympus Pen was 100ASA and really this was still too much for what I wanted to achieve with my image stacking.

What I think I will have to do is invest in a dremel and a couple of small neutral density filters and smooth down the rear of one of the lenses to fit a filter and minimise the light getting in. Alternatively, I can fit a step up ring to a pice of tubing the same size as the lens cap on the Kit and screw in a neutral density filter to this (which will certainly be the cheaper and more practical option).

Time will tell, but at least I have shown to myself that this is a technique worth developing.


Published by Keith Devereux

'Let me close my eyes and sense the beauty around me. And take that breath under the dark sky full of stars.' Mira Furlan

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