Ever get frustrated because your cathodes need to be shot at f8, but your orb needs to be shot at f4? Ahhhh!
Here is a trick I use all the time now. Using a manual lens, you can change the aperture during the exposure!
Because the light sources you are combining are different, they require different camera settings.
How do you do it?
Simple! Here is an example using the cathodes and orb:
1. Starting with the orb, so the aperture is set at f4. Make the orb.
2. Go back to the camera, and rotate the aperture ring to f8.
3. Swing the cathode around. End the exposure.
Now you've correctly exposed both the orb and the cathode! Wasn't that easy? Don't forget to set it back to f4 if you're going to try again (I never get it right the first time). It helps to know the lens well. With my lens, when I'm at f2.8, three clicks goes to f5.6. Two more clicks goes to f8, two more to f11, and three more to f22. It works.