Olympus’s amazing Live Composite feature helps you take the guess work out of long exposure photography – making issues with over-exposure a thing of the past. You can find Live Composite Mode in most current OM-D, PEN and TOUGH Olympus cameras.

Check out these creative ways to use Live Composite, then watch the videos at the end of the page to learn how to activate it.



Capture every burst and maintain stunning skyline detail during summer celebrations.

“Keep your intervals to 1 second or lower, and wait for the slow moment to take the second shot during a Live Composite. When you do, you will get just the burst and leave all the trailing lines out of the sky.” 
– Mike Boening, Olympus Visionary

“When photographing fireworks try to scout out a location in advance. Of course it is important to know where the fireworks will appear. Placing a stationary object into the scene helps the viewer to gain a sense of scale and place. Using a tripod is important. By using"Live Composite" mode, I was able to watch my preview screen and determine when I thought the image was completed.” 
– Frank Smith, Olympus Visionary

Learn more about fireworks photography



Use sparklers, steel wool or led lights for light creations that appear through the magic of live composite.

Related Tip: Try Indoor Light Painting

Don't have Live Composite? Check out this classic video from Olympus Visionary Alex McClure for another method to achieve this effect and for some inspiration as to what's possible.



Catch crisp trails of headlights and tail lights, showing the action of an urban landscape.

Getting low and shooting high with an iconic building from a large city can make your Live Composite images much more interesting, and if you can wait for a bus to go by even more so because of the large light streaks from it. Even one car can look amazing with Live Composite if you catch it on a curve or going up a bridge.
– Mike Boening, Olympus Visionary

Learn more about shooting traffic trails



Don’t worry about figuring out the right exposure time for your stars – just start your exposure and watch as the universe appears on your LCD screen.

“Including a small amount of artificial light in your astrophotography can make for a great point of interest, and the Live Composite feature will prevent the highlights from being completely over-exposed.” 
– Peter Baumgarten, Olympus Visionary

Learn more about shooting star trails



Complete the horizon with both fast and slow moving clouds, especially at sunset.

“Live Composite can be utilized during the daylight hours as long as you use a Neutral Density filter and a tripod. With this technique you can create a beautiful painterly effect when you have moving clouds.”
– Frank Smith, Olympus Visionary

Learn more about shooting daytime Live Composite



Because only changes in light are added to your final composite, you can easily catch each brief strike of lightning in clear detail. 



Create DIY portrait backgrounds by painting with light! 

Want to learn how? Check out Olympus Visionary Joe Edelman's video tutorial. Joe will walk you through using live composite to create cool portrait backgrounds in real time, in-camera.

View Joe's DIY Portrait Backgrounds tutorial

Learn more about Live Composite mode and how to activate this feature on your Olympus camera. Please note, on the E-M10 Mark III and recent PEN cameras, this function is found in the "Advanced Photo Mode" menu.