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Learning How to Use Bracketing

Bracketing is an advanced tool that can be quite useful in getting the perfect portrait. Many people use this method when they are taking pictures of landscapes or scenery that they plan on turning into a large wall portrait because they want to make sure that the image is perfect. Bracketing is also useful in any situation in which it is very hard to choose the right aperture and shutter speed, making it easy for images to be under or overexposed. When you bracket, you will find that you can almost guarantee that you get a perfectly exposed image.

Just how does bracketing work? This will only work for cameras that have the option, and generally, that means SLR cameras. You will need to take a look in your camera’s manual to find out where the bracketing mode is, but it is generally in the menu on the camera screen. You will also need to turn the knob on the top to the “P” setting. This “P” stands for program. This mode is similar to auto, but it allows you to have control over both shutter speed and aperture. When you set the camera to this mode, then you will be ready to bracket.

Bracketing is what it sounds like. You are creating a set of brackets. You will take one picture on the camera’s auto settings. Then, you will take two more pictures. One of them will be overexposed and one of them will be overexposed. Then, the camera will combine the images to create one perfectly exposed picture.

When you are actually bracketing, you will need to keep in mind that you will be taking three different pictures, so it will take longer to take the images of one scene. It will also require a great deal more memory card space than a standard picture, so make sure you have room for this kind of photography.

If your camera does not have the bracketing option, but you know how to use photo editing software on your computer, then you will still be able to bracket. You will just need to manually take each of the three pictures and then use that software to combine them.

Real Life Example: You are on vacation and you come across a mountain scene when the fog is rolling in over the hills. That fog can make it very hard to get the right exposure without washing out the sky or darkening out the shadows. However, the scene could be perfect for a lovely piece of wall art. You can use bracketing on your camera to get the right exposure on both the light spots and the shadows so everyone will be able to appreciate the beauty of the scene. 

3 Bracket Exposures

HDR Image Combining the 3 Exposures with Slight Sharpening in Photoshop

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