Monday, September 28, 2009


Bracketing is a process of taking more than 1 photograph to ensure the likelihood of having an exposure that is of good enough quality to print. It is not real important for making photographs where the end use is a website or email attachment. This is a process of primary importance where prints are being made that are 8” x10” or larger. With printing there is always a gap between an image on a display screen and one on paper. It is very difficult to bring up the full contrast range and to preserve the richness of the colors when going from a display screen to paper. Bracketing makes this gap smaller, but does not close it entirely. I am not aware of any printing process that closes this gap entirely.

Bracketing can be done around exposure, focus, lighting or a combination of the 3. Exposure bracketing is the most widely used of the 3. With a digital camera bracket the exposure in .3 steps. A good starting point is to first exposure at meter setting, second exposure at +.3 and a third exposure at -.3. This can be extended to also include +.7 and -. 7, as well as +1 and -1. Full steps are adequate for black and white film – metered setting, -1 and +1.

How this is done with the camera varies. With an SLR this can often be done by holding done a button that has both a + and a – on it while rotating the command dial wheel. The settings appear on the display and change as the wheel is rotated. With a point and shoot camera there is often an exposure compensation scale running from –2 to +2 that can be controlled by the multi selector control. Some cameras have an automatic bracketing setting.

© 2009 Paul Light all rights reserved


Post a Comment

<< Home