Hipshot Python Script Turns Videos into Faux Long Exposure Photos


Want to create a long exposure photo but don’t have a camera that can keep its shutter open for extended periods of time? Mansour Moufid of Elite Raspberries is working on a script called “Hipshot” that can take ordinary video footage and convert it into a faked long exposure still photo. He writes,

Long-exposure photography is a technique to capture dynamic scenes, which produces a contrast between its static and moving elements. Those parts of the scene which were in motion will appear blurred, creating a nice effect.

[Above] is a long-exposure shot of a stream I took recently. It is technically not a long-exposure photograph, but a simulation; this image was actually generated from a video recording taken with an old iPod, which was then processed in software into a single image. (Forgive the poor quality, I don’t own a good camera. Nonetheless, this image demonstrates the desired effect.)

You can check out the technical details of how the Python script works here. If you want to try it out for yourself, you can download Hipshot over on Google Code.

Simulate long-exposure photography with OpenCV [Elite Raspberries]

  • Alex

    what about image stacking in photoshop (or gimp)? gives higher resolution than video!

  • John Milleker

    Exactly Alex, I was going to post my method:

    (To do this to Video, you’ll need to export the frames as still images, turn your FPS way down because the more images the longer this takes)

    Bring your images into Photoshop using load files into stack, highlight all of the frames, convert it to a smart object and change the smart object stack mode to ‘Mean’.

  • Pat David

    There’s also the Imagemagick way to do it:

    These are the Imagemagick scripts I used to simulate Salavons Playboy centerfolds, and averaging Martin Schoellers celebrity portraits.

    Same technique could be used here as well (if the video is from a camera on a tripod, no pre-alignment is necessary).

  • Tim

    I fail to see why “It is technically not a long-exposure photograph”. It totally is a long-exposure photograph, as the constituent photons arrive at a more-or-less uniform rate over a prolonged period of time. The fact that that time is split into many shorter intervals by averaging each frame from a video merely means you benefit from lower noise (effective-ISO halving with every doubling of the number of source images), but the exposure time is simply additive.