How to: Bracketing

Most people are put off by bracketing as they believe it is something for advanced photographers. Once you get familiar with this tool, you will find yourself turning to it over and over again. I personally recommend using bracketing on images where there are high contrasting exposures on different objects in your shot. Bracketing is especially important with night time photography.

What is bracketing?

This is a feature which gives you control over the exposure within your photo.  In simple, you will take 3 pictures, all at different exposures insuring you get the perfect outcome.

How do you use bracketing?

Each DSLR camera has its own camera setting which you will need to learn about independently, however, it is generally a simple process of searching through the menu bar. There are a few different types of bracketing depending on camera: (not all camera will offer all options)

  • Exposure only
  • Flash Exposure only (useful with close subjects)
  • White Balance only  (In order to get the best colour and contrast)
  • Active D lighting  (showing more detail with shadowing and highlighting)

Step by Step

  • Choose your bracketing option
  • Choose the number of exposures that you want (Canon = 3 frames) (Nikon = 2-9 frames)
  • Choose the increments for bracketing (for very small increments pick a low number – vis-versa)
  • While taking the picture you have 2 options. You can either, take a picture in single shot mode where you will need to press the shutter release for all 3 photos OR you can use burst shot mode and take them all at once
  • The real talent then lies with merging the photos together. My advice would be to use either Light room or Photoshop (Option Merge to HDR in Photoshop)