As a photographer, one of the biggest challenges you face is getting the perfect exposure for your shots.
Whether you’re shooting landscapes, portraits, or action scenes, getting the right balance of light and shadow can be a tricky business.
That’s where autobracketing comes in: a handy feature on many modern cameras that can help you get the exposure you need in any situation.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what autobracketing is, how it works, and how you can use it to take your photography to the next level.
What Is Autobracketing?
Autobracketing is a feature found on many digital cameras that allows you to take a series of shots at different exposure levels with a single press of the shutter button.
This means that you can capture the same scene multiple times, each with a slightly different exposure setting, and then choose the best one later on.
Autobracketing is particularly useful when shooting in high-contrast situations, where the difference between the light and dark areas of your scene can be too great for a single exposure to capture properly.
How Does Autobracketing Work?
Autobracketing works by adjusting the exposure settings of your camera for each shot in the series.
Typically, you’ll set the autobracketing function to take three shots at different exposure levels: one at the camera’s default exposure setting, one underexposed (i.e. darker), and one overexposed (i.e. brighter).
The amount of exposure compensation between each shot can be customized to your liking, usually ranging from 1/3 to 2 stops.
Once you’ve taken your autobracketed shots, you can review them on your camera’s LCD screen to see which one has the best exposure.
Alternatively, you can combine the shots in post-processing software to create an HDR (high dynamic range) image that captures the full range of light and shadow in your scene.
Why Use Autobracketing?
Autobracketing is an incredibly useful tool for photographers for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it allows you to capture high-contrast scenes that would otherwise be difficult to expose properly in a single shot.
For example, if you’re shooting a sunset over the ocean, you might find that the sky is too bright and the water too dark for a single exposure to capture both properly.
By using autobracketing, you can take multiple shots at different exposure levels to capture the full range of light in the scene.
Secondly, autobracketing can help you to create more creative and dynamic images.
By intentionally over- or under-exposing your shots, you can create different moods and atmospheres in your images.
For example, underexposing a portrait shot can create a moody, dramatic effect, while overexposing a landscape shot can give it a dreamy, ethereal feel.
Finally, autobracketing can help you to save time and effort in post-processing.
If you’re shooting a series of images that you know will require HDR processing, autobracketing can save you the time and effort of manually adjusting the exposure settings for each shot later on.
Tips for Using Autobracketing
If you’re new to autobracketing, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Use a tripod: When taking autobracketed shots, it’s important to keep the camera as stable as possible. This is because any movement between shots can cause alignment issues when combining the shots later on. Using a tripod is the best way to ensure that your camera stays stable between shots.
- Set the exposure compensation: When setting up autobracketing, be sure to set the exposure compensation to a level that gives you enough of a difference between each shot. For most situations, a 1-stop difference between shots is a good starting point.
- Choose the right metering mode: When taking autobracketed shots, it’s important to choose the right metering mode for your scene. Generally, you’ll want to use spot metering mode to ensure that the exposure is based on the most important part of your scene.
- Use RAW format: To get the most out of your autobracketed shots, be sure to shoot in RAW format. This will give you the most flexibility when it comes to adjusting the exposure in post-processing.
Autobracketing – Wrap Up
Autobracketing is a powerful tool for photographers that allows you to capture the full range of light and shadow in any scene.
Whether you’re shooting landscapes, portraits, or action scenes, autobracketing can help you to get the perfect exposure every time.
By following the tips in this article, you’ll be able to take your photography to the next level and create