Bracket Your Shots to Capture the Correct Exposure

A lot of the DSLR cameras out in the market today have the capacity to take consecutive shots at a time, set at having different exposures. This is known as bracketing. Usually, the first shot will have the correct exposure preceded by an underexposed shot and lastly, an overexposed shot. Autobracketing is always by default and you will have to cancel it if you want a specific type of exposure setting. If you set your camera to capture single shots, keep in mind to manually adjust the exposure settings. If your camera is set to continuous shooting mode, it will just take three consecutive shots at the different exposures. Setting your camera to continuously shoot images can be a lot easier particularly when you are using high speed drive setting on your camera where you can capture images having three exposures shot in quick series to ensure your photographs will look nearly the same without you having to remind yourself as to how many you actually took. 

Using bracketing as a safeguard when your lighting is hard or a challenge to set up such as when your background paraphernalia has to be changed frequently or when your image has quite a lot of contrasting elements. Since this allows you to have a lot of options to choose from, you can pick the ideal image with the most attractive exposure from the bunch. You can even combine these images with the use of a photo editing program to show the best parts of each image.

When photographing different types of niches in photography, bracketing can offer certain advantages. For example, for landscape photography you will have more time to analyze your images in the histogram and you even have the opportunity to take another photograph if need be. Bracketing may tend to be a disadvantage in sports and action photography because your point of interest could be moving fast. 

When photographers still used film, it is common knowledge when using negatives that a full f/stop between images is a given. But in slide film, ½ stop or 1/3 stop at a time is ideal. For digital images, when shooting in RAW, one stop is acceptable. When shooting using JPEG, the increments in between images have to be closer together because you have less chances to make post processing adjustments if you encounter any issues.

When dealing with bracketing and exposure compensation, always remember that you need not place the bracket in the middle of the exposure dial. You can add the bracketing and place the exposure compensation together. This would allow you to have overexposure towards the center of the scale allowing you to have correct exposure one stop and two stops under. Another way is to have the underexposure at the center of the scale which means you can have correct exposure at one stop and two stops over.

For all instances wherein there is bright light in the background, all your shots should be overexposed by at least one stop to get the ideal exposure. The reason behind this is that the bright sun is behind the subject and the meter could be fooled into underexposing the shot. 

Automatic metering is ideal for ordinary circumstances with even lighting but if there is more light contrast involved, it can exaggerate the exposure setting. This is where bracketing comes in handy since having various exposures of the same scene will give you better chances of getting the correct exposure.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2011 at 10:00 am and is filed under Articles, Photography Basics, Photography Techniques. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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