Joergen Geerds sent in his solution to long exposure night photography: the Bracketmeister, an Arduino set up that’s used with a camera’s bulb mode to automate bracketed, long exposure shots.
I do bracket all my night photography, for various reasons: for exposure blending, noise reduction, dynamic range extension etc etc. Unfortunately, Canon thinks that all photographers only need +-2EV brackets, unless you own one of the very big Canons, and that 30 seconds is also enough. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough for some of my night panoramas, and I was looking into ways to fix it (that included pleading to Canon, but we all know how far that goes).
So I decided to build my own long-exposure bracket controller, based on the arduino platform, with an Nokia LCD to actually have an user interface, other than a red button, write my own piece of software and test it last night… I call the gadget “Bracketmeister 0.32â€³ for now. It works like a charm. Now I can have +-3EV (what I was aiming for, but the it does up to +-10EV, possibly more), exposures from 1 sec to 2 hours, and up to 11 shots for each bracket set (can be more). Now no night panorama is impossible anymore.
You can grab the code and build instructions from Joergen’s site. Put a nice case around this and it’s a handy little item to add to your photo hacker’s toolkit.