Exposure Bracketing


Fundamentals of Photography


Lesson Info

Exposure Bracketing

Something else to think about is exposure bracketing. We talked about doing this manually before, but a lot of cameras will have an automatic option for you to shoot a variety of exposures, at different brightness levels, for a variety of reasons. It might be because you're just not sure what the right exposure is gonna be, and it's better for you to shoot a wide selection and then take it home and figure it out later, some of you though might be using HDR photography where you're combining photographs of different exposure values into one completed photograph. So, when it comes to exposure bracketing there is often a lot of different options, so I'm gonna tell you what some of these options are and then what I recommend and what I use for my photography at least. So you can shoot anywhere from two to nine exposures in these automated bracketing modes. Now you can manually bracket if you want, but automatic bracketing is kind of nice cause what happens is that when you press down on th...

e shutter release, if you're camera is in the continuous motor drive, it fires through all the shots as quickly as it can, and then stops. So it'll do all five shots for instance, just boom boom boom boom boom, and then it stops right away. And in everyone of those, it's changing everything that it needs to adjust. So it can be very quick and easy to work with. And so we have three exposures, which is kind of a traditional bracket but now, people are doing all sorts of things with their images, so you can go all the way up from five, seven all the way up to nine exposures. The exposure increment, how big a difference from one image to the next do you want? With modern digital cameras, it makes very little sense to bracket by a third of a stop. There is so little difference, you're not gonna see much difference. You can adjust modern digital images quite a bit, and so most photographers are bracketing by one to two stops between exposures. The shooting mode, you can be in program, shutter priority, aperture priority, or manual in this case. It depends on which you're doing. I tend to like aperture priority here. If you want, you can add exposure compensation on to the mix. If you're capturing three images, and you don't want the middle image at 0 EV, you can dial it up to plus one or down to minus two or wherever you want, so that you're getting that group of images either brighter or darker than necessary. And you might need to do that, depending on the situation that you're in. The drive mode can be in single or continuous, I often like it in continuous for the reason that I mentioned, is that the camera will suit to it very quickly and then just automatically stop. When I have the camera in the single mode, if I have it set up for seven exposures, I have to make sure I count one, two, three, 'cause I wanna know when I'm done. I don't want to finish at six, go on and take another picture and that's actually the seventh picture of a bracket series. Some cameras will give you the option of auto-cancel, and this depends on who you are. Are you the type of person who likes to bracket a lot? And in which case you would turn this off. If you're the type of person like me that just does bracketing once in a while, I'm gonna bracket once and then turn it off. 'Cause I don't wanna leave it on 'cause then the next five pictures I take are all gonna be of these different exposure levels. And so some cameras will offer that as an option. Some of the more advanced cameras will also give you the option of which order that you can shoot these images in. And there are some cameras that give you a really weird order, that when you look at it, once you've downloaded the images, it makes very little sense to me. I'm not gonna name brands here, but there's one of the cameras that shoots the 0 first, then it shoots the -one, and then the +one, and then the -two and then the +two, and when you see these all lined up, you kinda lose track of where you began one and end at the other. So a lot of photographers who do this on a regular basis like to change this from light to dark. 'Cause then it's very clear. When you shoot a series of five pictures, it's going darker to light, darker to light, darker to light, and it's very easy to separate them. And so the ones in the red squares are the way that I normally set my camera. three or five, I've done a few seven, if I've really needed something in a wide range. one stop EV I usually don't ever go less than that. I like aperture priority because with a bracket series of photographs, this generally only works with non-moving subjects. Because if it moves, it's gonna be in a complete different place in every single photograph and so this works for static-type shots: landscape, architecture-type shots and depth of field is usually more important in those types of images. And so aperture priority works well. I'll normally have the exposure compensation in the middle. Auto-cancel on, that's just because I don't shoot a lot of bracketing. If you are doing a lot of bracketing and you're working a, let's say you're a working real estate and you're photographing a house, and everything you shoot is a seven shot bracket series, turn that auto-cancel off so that you don't have to keep going back in and turning that feature on. Alright, so we have a lot of different modes on our camera and I wanna go through my recommendations of what I like, and what I don't like. So, when it comes to the auto modes, they're fast and they're easy, but there's no adjustments and that darn pop-up flash. If you have any of those pop-up flashes, they'll just automatically come off on you, and that's a different thing, that's a whole separate subject. I'll talk about that in light. But that can be really annoying. There's a lot of these scene modes that will give you a little bit better results than the standard auto mode because it has a better idea of what you're trying to accomplish in the photograph. And they are what I would also call good cheater modes. If you kinda want to see how the camera would set things up, put it in the sports mode, you'll find out that it uses faster shutter speeds, turns on the motor drive, it changes the focusing system, ah okay I see what it's doing. But what I've found in the scene mode is that you don't have the adjustments and in general, it never goes far enough. If I'm shooting something that I need a thousandth of a second, it's recommending twofive0th of a second, and so it never knows as much as you know, it's just got a little bit better of an idea of what you're doing. The program mode is fast and easy and you can use that shift feature to adjust the settings for your particular situation, but they either reset or don't reset and you may need to use the exposure compensation on that. Shutter priority, not one of my favorite, but it does give you an exact shutter speed, so if you know exactly the shutter speed that you wanna get, you can use that. Now, I'll freely tell you I don't like this mode but I do use it. When we were in Cuba, and we're shooting the panning cars coming down the street, the important thing on panning is getting the exact shutter speed you want, but this was changing right at morning light and the light was changing and so I said, just dial in your shutter speed everybody and let's get this shutter speed right and it was working really well in that situation and so it's not that I don't recommend it, it's just I don't recommend it a large percentage of the time. You may need exposure compensation with that of course, and you could accidentally exceed the range that your camera has on it. Aperture priority is kinda my travel mode, when I don't know what the next photo I'm gonna take is. It's fast, it's pretty safe, it's ready to go. I may need to jump in there with a little exposure compensation, but generally it's pretty good in most situations. Full manual is gonna get you exactly what you want in this specific settings in all the exposure values. It takes a little bit of set up time, takes a little bit of thinking. And so when it comes down to it, for most serious photographers, manual is the way to go if you have the time to get that set up. Aperture priority works pretty well, and from time to time, yeah, you could through your camera into program mode if you have to.

Class Description

As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.


1Class Introduction
2Photographic Characteristics
3Camera Types
4Viewing System
5Lens System
6Shutter System
7Shutter Speed Basics
8Shutter Speed Effects
9Camera & Lens Stabilization
10Quiz: Shutter Speeds
11Camera Settings Overview
12Drive Mode & Buffer
13Camera Settings - Details
14Sensor Size: Basics
15Sensor Sizes: Compared
16The Sensor - Pixels
17Sensor Size - ISO
18Focal Length
19Angle of View
20Practicing Angle of View
21Quiz: Focal Length
22Fisheye Lens
23Tilt & Shift Lens
24Subject Zone
25Lens Speed
27Depth of Field (DOF)
28Quiz: Apertures
29Lens Quality
30Light Meter Basics
32Quiz: Histogram
33Dynamic Range
34Exposure Modes
35Sunny 16 Rule
36Exposure Bracketing
37Exposure Values
38Quiz: Exposure
39Focusing Basics
40Auto Focus (AF)
41Focus Points
42Focus Tracking
43Focusing Q&A
44Manual Focus
45Digital Focus Assistance
46Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF)
47Quiz: Depth of Field
48DOF Preview & Focusing Screens
49Lens Sharpness
50Camera Movement
51Advanced Techniques
52Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance
53Auto Focus Calibration
54Focus Stacking
55Quiz: Focus Problems
56Camera Accessories
57Lens Accessories
58Lens Adaptors & Cleaning
60Flash & Lighting
63Being a Photographer
64Natural Light: Direct Sunlight
65Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight
66Natural Light: Mixed
67Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light
68Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light
69Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light
70Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light
71Quiz: Lighting
72Light Management
73Flash Fundamentals
75Built-In & Add-On Flash
76Off-Camera Flash
77Off-Camera Flash For Portraits
78Advanced Flash Techniques
79Editing Assessments & Goals
80Editing Set-Up
81Importing Images
82Organizing Your Images
83Culling Images
84Categories of Development
85Adjusting Exposure
86Remove Distractions
87Cropping Your Images
88Composition Basics
89Point of View
90Angle of View
91Subject Placement
92Framing Your Shot
93Foreground & Background & Scale
94Rule of Odds
95Bad Composition
96Multi-Shot Techniques
97Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction
98Human Vision vs The Camera
99Visual Perception
100Quiz: Visual Balance
101Visual Drama
102Elements of Design
103Texture & Negative Space
104Black & White & Color
105The Photographic Process
106Working the Shot
107What Makes a Great Photograph?