Exposure Bracketing {Free Beginner Photography Class}

It’s your baby’s first birthday.  You really want to shoot in manual mode, but what if you don’t get things right?  What if the test image you saw on your LCD is just a tad too dark or too light?  What if  you mess up?

Next week we’ll jump into another math/stop based concept that helps us get exposure right the first time, but this week I’m going to teach you a little automatic cheat for those situations where you know you’re close but really don’t want to mess it up and miss the moment.

Exposure Bracketing

Exposure Bracketing

Back in the old days of film, if we were unsure about an image, we exposure bracketed.  That meant we took an image at a zero exposure value according to our meter, then we moved both one stop up and one stop down and took two more images.  If we were OCD (and had film to waste) we might do five images.  Usually this would be done for a heavily contrasted image like a sunset or sunrise over a gorgeous landscape.

Most cameras come equipped with an automatic exposure bracketing mode. When toggled on, exposure bracketing takes a rapid burst of 3 or 5 images where the camera will calculate the stops for you both up and down each type you press the shutter release. In your baby’s first birthday scenario or any scenario where you are not completely sure about getting exposure right in camera: use exposure bracketing.

Exposure Bracketing Assignment

Consult your manual now and figure out how to turn on exposure bracketing. I actually had to consult my manual for my new camera on this one (Did I tell you I had a new camera? Sony a77.  I’m reading a manual right along with you!) and I found that I actually have a dedicated button for braketing/self-timer.  Maybe you do too, but otherwise it’ll likely be an option on your camera menu 🙂  Like me, you may find that you have a few options for how your camera brackets. Read the manual to find out the benefits of each option.

Use it this week while you keep on practicing in manual mode.

Upload some photos in our Flickr Group (it’s kind lonely over there… ya’ll are sorely missed, but I hope you’re enjoying your summer vacations!!!).