The problem of the ghost trees

Discussion in 'Panasonic LX100 / D-LUX (109) Forum' started by Jock Elliott, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Before dawn today, the moon illuminated the trees across the lane with a ghostly ethereal light. There must have been some color in the scene, perhaps just a smidgen, but the overall effect was that of a silvery monochrome, a kind of misty platinum print.

    I grabbed the LX100 and slipped out the door. I set the aperture to f/1.7, the shutter speed to 1/125th, and left the focal length at full wide, with the ISO set to auto. The camera, I figured, would try to set the ISO to render the scene to look like daylight or something very near to it.

    After the first shot, I would check the ISO and then manually dial it down to get that ghostly, ethereal look in the exposure, and that’s what I did. I also tried a couple of monochrome shots, made possible through the “effects” button. Finally, I pushed the iA button and triggered a shot.

    Most of the shots came out impossibly dark, nothing visible. Putting the camera in auto aperture, auto shutter speed, and auto ISO (basically P mode), produced a couple of one-second time exposures that were too blurry to be useful.

    In iA mode, the camera decided it was time for a handheld night shot and banged off six images that it stacked to produce the result below.

    LX100 ghost trees 009.jpg

    But that was not really what I was seeing. So, the question: does anyone have any suggestions for capturing that ghostly, ethereal, moonlit scene?

    Addendum: here is a partial solution. I ran the image above through one of DXO's B&W presets:
    LX100 ghost trees 009_DxO copy.jpg

    That is kind-of what I was seeing. Feel free to play with either image.

    Cheers, Jock
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
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  2. bluzcity

    bluzcity SC Veteran

    Jul 30, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    Real Name:
    I don't see how you can accomplish this without a tripod. And even then you are going to need a still night. Aperture priority 2.8 or 3.5, ISO 200.
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