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Bracketing

Monday, July 30th, 2012

What Is Bracketing?

Backeting is taking several shots of the same subject using different exposure settings. Usually three shots are taken.

  • The exposure the camera thinks is correct
  • One shot darker
  • One shot lighter

Any of the settings that affect exposure (aperture, speed, ISO) can be used to manually bracket shots.

Why Bracket?

The main reason I bracket is to produce three shots that can be merged together as an HDR image. When bracketing to create an HDR image, don’t change the aperture — just change the shutter speed. If you change the aperture, you will also change the depth of field in each of the bracketed shots. Changing ISO could introduce digital noise. Since HDR images are already noisy, reducing digital noise is the better choice. When bracketing for HDR, exposures are usually 1-2 stops¬† apart. I have successfully used 3 stops between exposures.

Another reason to bracket has to do with lighting conditions. If your camera is having problems finding the best exposure, you can turn on bracketing so that you have a range of exposures for every shot. When bracketing to get the best exposure, use more subtle settings. Depending on your camera, you can set the bracketing to 1/3 or 1/2 stops between exposures. Click to continue »