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Thread: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

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    How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Hi,

    yesterday I shot this pic in Venice.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	200603_Venice_Corona_030-Panorama.jpg 
Views:	76 
Size:	104.8 KB 
ID:	149751

    There were very strong winds and I shot with 1/200 of a second but with Frame Averaging...
    At home I noticed that all images are slightly blurred... very likely because of the very strong winds. Its to sad as I really like the image (13 images stitched from an IQ4 150 with an Alpa STC and a Rodie 70 mm HR.)

    I shot this on a Gitzo 2542 GT with a custom Panormahead... Would a heavier tripod help? A sandbag? A tent (not really serious)...

    Whats the best way to avoid blurs and dissapointments during strong winds?

    Any hints appreciated...

    Frank

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Quote Originally Posted by eisbaer View Post
    Hi,

    yesterday I shot this pic in Venice.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	200603_Venice_Corona_030-Panorama.jpg 
Views:	76 
Size:	104.8 KB 
ID:	149751

    There were very strong winds and I shot with 1/200 of a second but with Frame Averaging...
    At home I noticed that all images are slightly blurred... very likely because of the very strong winds. Its to sad as I really like the image (13 images stitched from an IQ4 150 with an Alpa STC and a Rodie 70 mm HR.)

    I shot this on a Gitzo 2542 GT with a custom Panormahead... Would a heavier tripod help? A sandbag? A tent (not really serious)...

    Whats the best way to avoid blurs and dissapointments during strong winds?

    Any hints appreciated...

    Frank
    Beautiful image.

    A sandbag below the center column (or your camera bag with a ziplock/trash/plastic bag you fill with rocks/sand on location as needed, so you aren't carrying a heavy sandbag all the time) can definitely help increase stability of any given tripod. Other good practices include deploying the largest sections of the tripod before the smaller sections, keeping the tripod as low to the ground as the composition allows, not extending the center column, and making sure everything (legs, head, plates) are tightly locked. You don't say what the head is, just that it's custom – a geared-panning action (e.g. Arca Swiss GP heads) can help also, since you get stability without having to lock/unlock the pan (an unlocked non-geared pano head is a no no in heavy wind).

    But I don't think any of that would necessarily be enough in heavy wind when combined with the defacto-long-exposure attributes of Frame Averaging.

    Stability requirements for Frame Averaging are roughly the same as a long exposure of the same total duration of the capture window. For this reason I would not suggest Frame Averaging for this kind of situation. DualExposure completes much faster, so would be a better tool for situations where you are concerned about camera stability. If the wind is especially bad I would suggest single standard captures, and, if you think it necessary, doing a bracketed exposure that you then merge by hand where/if needed.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Quote Originally Posted by eisbaer View Post
    Would a heavier tripod help? A sandbag? A tent (not really serious)...
    While not a tent, exactly, when the wind is coming mostly from one direction, I will frequently stand very close to the camera to shield it with my body. Adding weight to the tripod is helpful, too.

    But because I photograph mostly in urban environments, where supplies of rocks, bricks, and other heavy objects are not reliably available (except during riots, it seems!) and I'm always on foot, being able to fill a rock or sand bag isn't always possible.

    And carrying around a heavy, pre-filled rock or sand bag is a non-starter.

    Instead, I carry a T-shaped piece of 1" diameter Sch. 40 plastic pipe to which I've attached a length of parachute cord.

    I tied in a loop in the loose end of the cord and attach it to the tripod via the hook at the bottom of the center column.

    I then place one foot over the cord underneath the tripod and use it as a lever to pull the cord tight via the T-shaped piece of plastic pipe in my hand, using pressure applied by my foot to keep the cord tightly tensioned between the tripod and ground.

    In my experience, this approach actually works better than a rock or sand bag, because I use long exposures and anything hanging from the tripod center column will inevitably sway somewhat during the exposure.

    Plus, my setup is easily adjusted to work with the tripod set at different heights, cost me next to nothing to make, and can be carried in a pants pocket when not in use.

    Hope this helps!

    P.S.: I also do a lot of median-blending of multiple exposures (manually, because I'm not using an IQ4) and when using long exposures, sometimes one simply must accept a small amount of blurring. Because the poles for street signs and streetlights often sway by surprisingly large amounts when the wind is gusting and tall buildings can sway as well, sometimes even at ground level.
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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    I mount a carabiner on my camera bag (which sometimes feels like a bag of rocks!) and hook it underneath my tripod (Gitzo SSGT 5562 & cube). Not the lightest setup but definitely stable.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    The World is a book, and those that do not travel read only one page ...
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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Quote Originally Posted by eisbaer View Post
    Hi,

    yesterday I shot this pic in Venice.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	200603_Venice_Corona_030-Panorama.jpg 
Views:	76 
Size:	104.8 KB 
ID:	149751

    There were very strong winds and I shot with 1/200 of a second but with Frame Averaging...
    At home I noticed that all images are slightly blurred... very likely because of the very strong winds. Its to sad as I really like the image (13 images stitched from an IQ4 150 with an Alpa STC and a Rodie 70 mm HR.)

    I shot this on a Gitzo 2542 GT with a custom Panormahead... Would a heavier tripod help? A sandbag? A tent (not really serious)...

    Whats the best way to avoid blurs and dissapointments during strong winds?

    Any hints appreciated...

    Frank
    The benefit of hanging a weight on a tripod is marginal at best. From the Center Column: https://thecentercolumn.com/2018/02/...nd-damping-vs/ Yes, it lowers the center of gravity so the tripod won't tip, but it has limited value in actually preventing blur caused by camera motion.

    Like Audii-Dudii, I stand up wind of the tripod to act as a wind shield.

    You can also try to find where your system is the least unstable: is it your pano head or the tripod?

    Also, is your image soft at 100% monitor view? That might be insignificant at almost any print sizes. Yes, softness is annoying, but it might not have any practical implications for this image. I assume the averaging was done in camera and so you cannot isolate the sharp frames. In these conditions, I would take multiple frames, wind bracketing so to speak, in order to select the sharpest to use--this is a common method in planetary astrophotography where you are trying to find the frames with the most stable atmosphere to maximize detail.

    Yes, bigger and heavier tripods are more stable. But they are bigger and heavier, so carrying them is harder. The Center Column is also a good reference to find a stable tripod.
    Last edited by Shashin; 4th June 2020 at 08:14.

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Two suggestions
    1. Spread the legs wider
    2. Get a wooden tripod

    I have been using a Berlebach wooden tripod for over fifteen years with all cameras; 4x5 view cameras, medium format film, full format digital and medium format digital. I have never had a vibration problem from either high winds, bridges, etc. If the wind is not too strong to blow me over, it is fine. I have on occasion been in wind so strong that I could not stand, which meant tripod use was not possible. I travel with it as well, in checked baggage on airplanes.
    Best regards,
    Jesse
    djessemay.com

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Quote Originally Posted by eisbaer View Post
    Hi,

    yesterday I shot this pic in Venice.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	200603_Venice_Corona_030-Panorama.jpg 
Views:	76 
Size:	104.8 KB 
ID:	149751

    There were very strong winds and I shot with 1/200 of a second but with Frame Averaging...
    At home I noticed that all images are slightly blurred... very likely because of the very strong winds. Its to sad as I really like the image (13 images stitched from an IQ4 150 with an Alpa STC and a Rodie 70 mm HR.)

    I shot this on a Gitzo 2542 GT with a custom Panormahead... Would a heavier tripod help? A sandbag? A tent (not really serious)...

    Whats the best way to avoid blurs and dissapointments during strong winds?

    Any hints appreciated...

    Frank
    Hi Frank,

    Wonderful image. I find myself in windy conditions frequently, shooting panos, long exposures, etc., and also use the IQ4150 and the IQ4150 Achro on Arca's and XT.

    Because the IQ4150 w/ Rodie's and S-K's produces stunningly sharp images, I really try to avoid using the E-shutter and AFA and prefer mechanical shutter long exposures with appropriate filters. AFA seems to work well in some circumstances as can single ES shots, but not if there are any movements at all (the camera or the objects).

    As an example, a couple of years ago when shooting downtown buildings to find the focus factor for my Rm, I noticed at 100% in C1 that edges of the some of the buildings were wavy. At first I thought it was Texas heat, but it wasn't hot. Then I thought it was some flaw in the Rodie lenses, so I sent some images to Klukas and he confirmed it was the result of camera movement using the ES rather than the copal. The day I shot the wind was barely noticeable, the camera was on a sturdy tripod and head, and I shot at 1/125 or 1/250 (can't recall but thought fast enough).

    Using the ES or AFA with moving water one is trying to smooth out ends up with incomplete "flows" that abruptly stop rather than the silky tapering off one gets when using a mechanical shutter with long exposures. What should appear like a ribbon on the water looks like a horse's tail with each strand showing and then abruptly ending. And like in your case, any minuscule movement during the ES capture will show movement in stationary objects. And it's possible that because your image is the result of 13 stitched together, when combined, the small movements maybe became even more exaggerated or created a loss of clarity?

    Are the blurs visible to the naked eye in a print size you would want for the image, or just at 100% in C1? I've learned with the IQ4150's to not necessarily view everything at 100% because even when I produce a full size print I can't see the same level of detail than I can on the screen and certainly not at the desired viewing distance.

    Cheers,
    Robert
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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    I believe I have stood in the spot you took this image. I had issues with getting sharp images, I believe the ground you are standing on moves with the waves that pass by from boats and wind. I went back on a day with less boat traffic and was able to get sharp images. The other factor that helped me was standing further way from the edge of the water. Of course in Venice the buildings are built on piles sunk into the mud and into deeper clay.

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Quote Originally Posted by Audii-Dudii View Post
    Instead, I carry a T-shaped piece of 1" diameter Sch. 40 plastic pipe to which I've attached a length of parachute cord.

    I tied in a loop in the loose end of the cord and attach it to the tripod via the hook at the bottom of the center column.

    I then place one foot over the cord underneath the tripod and use it as a lever to pull the cord tight via the T-shaped piece of plastic pipe in my hand, using pressure applied by my foot to keep the cord tightly tensioned between the tripod and ground.
    Very smart!
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Name:  CB0E1323-CB34-4821-ADD3-B4CA08661C1F.jpeg
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    Thanks a lot for all your valuable tips.

    First of all, no the image is not minimal but really blurred.. no chance to save it to a printable format. Fine for web but not for an panoramic print..

    So lessons learned.
    1. Thanks to Doug - first shoot a regular or double exposure version before trying the Frame Avering to get ND Effect and Dynamic Range. Second prize is better then disqualification.

    2. In the image above you see the other lessons.
    - go down with the tripod
    - try to protect the camera against the wind ( Jacket and Backpack and a pole did a great work
    - check in live view at 100% how the wind really influences the image. I noticed that even moderate wind ( not storm as it was in the thread picture ) causes viewable movements..
    - rent a wooden tripod when back home and try with one...

    If I forgot something please tell me...

    Frank

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Hi Steven,

    Thanks for your comment, but no the ground is really stable. I shoot there since more then 10 years and all images where perfect sharp (if not it was always my fault...) This year it was the first time where I tried this spot with Frame Averaging. So the only relevant factor seems to be the wind. As I wrote in the other post, when I protected me from the wind I got great images even with FA.

    Frank

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenfr View Post
    I believe I have stood in the spot you took this image. I had issues with getting sharp images, I believe the ground you are standing on moves with the waves that pass by from boats and wind. I went back on a day with less boat traffic and was able to get sharp images. The other factor that helped me was standing further way from the edge of the water. Of course in Venice the buildings are built on piles sunk into the mud and into deeper clay.

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    @Robert and @Doug

    Interesting point you mention with the Copal and the ES... I understand the difference if shooting with ES and Copal for the Rolling shutter effect, but that It affects blur due to camera movement... You seem to have experience there. I will try and shoot a comparison with ND Filters and Copal and ES with FA...

    Doug - your two cents? If somebody should now why this could be - maybe you?

    Thanks
    Frank

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    I use an umbrella to help against wind.

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Quote Originally Posted by eisbaer View Post
    Name:  CB0E1323-CB34-4821-ADD3-B4CA08661C1F.jpeg
Views: 271
Size:  29.0 KB

    Thanks a lot for all your valuable tips.

    First of all, no the image is not minimal but really blurred.. no chance to save it to a printable format. Fine for web but not for an panoramic print..

    So lessons learned.
    1. Thanks to Doug - first shoot a regular or double exposure version before trying the Frame Avering to get ND Effect and Dynamic Range. Second prize is better then disqualification.

    2. In the image above you see the other lessons.
    - go down with the tripod
    - try to protect the camera against the wind ( Jacket and Backpack and a pole did a great work
    - check in live view at 100% how the wind really influences the image. I noticed that even moderate wind ( not storm as it was in the thread picture ) causes viewable movements..
    - rent a wooden tripod when back home and try with one...

    If I forgot something please tell me...

    Frank
    I would also try to analyze whether it is the head and head/tripod combination that might be contributing to this. I can't clearly see by the picture you posted, but that looks like a P1 camera, not an Alpa STC mentioned in the original post. But having the camera hanging to the side of the tripod is not ideal. I am curious, is the blurring generalized or is there a particular direction to the blurring? Could the head be flexing or if off-center, causing the tripod to flex?

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Hi Will,

    thanks for your input. Yes the camera in this case was to the right of the tripod. In the image of the thread it was an Alpa STC on Top of the same tripod. Today I tried to increase the difficulty.. but there is no real difference the wind gets them all. Only thing that really helped was to protect the camera from the wind. The great thing is that the Gitzo holds the weight of a P1 XF with the 150mm 2.8 perfect... even if its on the side. Lots of people told me to get a Sirui or a Benro because of the price.. none of them manages to hold a XF + the 150mm 2.8 or the 40-80 as the Gitzo does...
    Frank
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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    I have a somewhat unconventional method when the wind simply is too strong to pin down the cam for long exposures. I obviously try to make the cam as still as possible as well, low height if possible, shield with my body etc...
    I start with shooting exposures with fast times to freeze static objects in the image. Then after, ND and long exposure to smooth out water, clouds, treemovements or whatever it is that moves. In post production I use modern blending techniques.

    I do try to avoid this way of shooting but it has saved me more than once. It's a possible plan B.
    Alpa 12 Plus TC | Schneider 90N | Schneider 120N | Hasselblad X1D | XCD 21 | XCD 45 | XCD 90 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    If your tripod has spikes on the legs and you are on soil or gravel (rather than solid rock or concrete), push them deep into the ground.

    ...gregg

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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    I use a Titleist golf Umbrella and it generally works well. I primarily shoot LE and wind is beneficial for cloud movement obviously. Only works for wind from the sides or back but because the Umbrella is huge I can get behind it and protect cam and tripod. I set the timer on the cam to a minimum of 10s and then quickly put up the umbrella and then push against the wind. It is a surprisingly good workout as well. I get a few funny looks but who cares.
    David
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    Re: How to avoid blur during stormy winds

    Quote Originally Posted by eisbaer View Post
    Hi Will,

    thanks for your input. Yes the camera in this case was to the right of the tripod. In the image of the thread it was an Alpa STC on Top of the same tripod. Today I tried to increase the difficulty.. but there is no real difference the wind gets them all. Only thing that really helped was to protect the camera from the wind. The great thing is that the Gitzo holds the weight of a P1 XF with the 150mm 2.8 perfect... even if its on the side. Lots of people told me to get a Sirui or a Benro because of the price.. none of them manages to hold a XF + the 150mm 2.8 or the 40-80 as the Gitzo does...
    Frank
    Eye opening for me was full magnification using live view and my H210mm Not only critical focus but vibrations caused by wind, tripod vibrations from wave crashing into shore, camera strap blowing against tripod and filters (150mm) catching wide. Wind blockage solves all issues but waves crashing unless tripod is on rocks is a no go!

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