Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Photography Tips: Bracketing

Have you ever heard of bracketing?  Chances are, if you've taken a photography class, you have...but if you haven't taken a class, you most likely have no idea what I'm talking about.  Bracketing is a very useful practice and is being used more and more with the ease of digital photography.

In the days of using film, bracketing was recommended, but not used very often.  At least, I didn't use it often.  I couldn't afford to waste precious (and expensive) film on 3 or 4 shots of the same thing when I would eventually only use one.  But now, with my digital camera, I do it ALL the time.  It only makes sense and practically guarantees getting a good shot.

I guess I should explain what bracketing is to those who don't know.  Bracketing is shooting a photo at the recommended exposure setting and then shooting another photo underexposed and yet another overexposed.  The amount of underexposure and overexposure is going to be up to you...up or down 1/3 of a stop, 1/2 a stop...you'll just have to experiment with it.

Bracketing is not necessary if you are shooting in Auto mode.  There's no point.  But if you are adventurous enough to shoot manually, then it's something you'll want to try.  Normally, the photo on the recommended setting is going to be the best exposed.  But it depends on what look you are going for.  If you want your photo to be just a little overexposed to get a more high-key look, you'll get it.  Then just go and delete the other two photos.

So, in a nut shell, bracketing is an awesome technique used to get that perfectly exposed shot and a useful trick when you want to experiment with exposure.  

~Kara Stewart

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