- Exposure: From Snapshots to Great Shots
- Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
- Master Photo Exposure
Auto-bracketing is a setting that leaves many beginners confused. Many avoid it all together because they have little or no idea what it does or what it's good for. It isn't really that complicated and we're going to explain how it works.
First of all, let's answer the main question: What is auto exposure bracketing? It is a setting used to capture the same scene using three or more different exposure values. You end up with one correctly exposed photograph, an overexposed one and finally an underexposed picture.
There are two important uses for auto bracketing. Keep in mind, this is a very helpful setting for nature and landscape photographers. So if you're shooting a landscape in one of the camera's creative modes, like Shutter or Aperture Priority, taking three shots with different exposures will help you make sure you have the shot correctly exposed.
Secondly, HDR photography is based on bracketing. To create a HDR image, you need to combine images with different exposure values, to make sure you have an even exposure all throughout the frame.
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Automatic bracketing is a setting that can be found on most digital cameras, under a variety of symbols. Generally, the value by which a photo is underexposed is also the value by which it will be overexposed. If you take a picture using the AEB setting and set the camera to underexpose by one stop, the overexposed photo will also vary by one stop.
It's best to use Auto Exposure Bracketing in Aperture Priority mode. The fixed aperture setting will help your images retain the same depth of field and allow for better alignment if you blend them in post procesing.
Before using this setting on your camera, it's best to read the manual. With most cameras, you'll want to change the drive mode to continuous. That way you only have to press the button once to take all three pictures.
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Exposure Bracketing can be very useful, especially for photographers who prefer using the jpg format. To give you a more complete description of AEB and how to use it, here is Adorama's Mark Wallace, showing you the feature in the field.