Exposure Bracketing on digital camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JDN, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. JDN macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2006
    Lund Sweden {London England}
    After my camera went a bit funny, and turned exposure bracketing on without telling me, i have been doing some research. It seems to be a really useful feature, especially for scenery shots. I do like a bright sun against a power landscape.

    However, after some reading, i noticed most people recommend layering the three shots in photoshop and the deleting the bits from each photo you don't want to produce a 'perfect', or at least much improved, image.

    Call me lazy if you will, but this does seem a little laborious. Is there any software that you can load the images into that will then combine them to produce a final image?
  2. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    You're talking about HDR, obviously.

    I'd only heard about people deleting or erasing bits they didn't like (to let another photo's detail come through) just recently. Yes, I've seen some amazing photographs created this way, but it's not a necessity.

    Photomatix is a common program used to create HDR images, but you can also do it in Photoshop.

    Edit: Here is a guy that goes all out creating his HDR shots (ie: deleting parts and so on). They're stunning, but often fake looking. Here is his tutorial, if you decide you want to play with that type of look.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    There is software now that will do this automatically, but like all automated processes there is no artistic input. Depends on how much control yo want over the final image.

    The problem with composites like this is if something moves between the exposures. Even if a leaf on a tree moves it could cause a blur So there is some advantage to doing it by hand in PS, you can control where the "seams" are.

    The best way is to get it right inthe camera. Think about what needs to be exposed and what you can let go dark.

    What you are doing with so called "HDR" is "flattening" the tones so thay can all fit within the range that can be printed. Maybe you don't want flat tones and want the colors of the clouds in a sunset expanded at the expense of some tones in the foreground? This is called "artistic input" Automation can't make this kind of decision

    Photography is about selection. that means finding something in the world and making an image of that and not some other thing. HDR can either help or not depends on what you want to show the viewer

    My opinion of automatic bracketing: It saves you exactly two butoon presses and two turns on a command wheel. But you have to press a couple buttons and turn a wheel to enable the feature. and just as much work to turn off the feature. So in total it is more effort to use auto-bracket then to simple use the exposure compensation control and take the extra exposure yourself. So the auto-bracket feature takes 15 seconds to do what you could do in 3 without it.
  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    That depends highly on (a) how many exposures you want in your bracket (it could be more than two additional frames) and (b) what kind of camera you have.

    My camera does up to 9 exposures and has a bracket button, so for me, I add one button press (without removing my eye from the viewfinder) for my standard bracket settings. That saves me seven button pushes and seven wheel turns per image. I find that to be a pretty good trade-off for the times I want to HDR something.

    More importantly, there's much less chance that something will move in the interval between exposures with auto-bracketing. Even if your camera doesn't have a dedicated or programmable button for the function, that's often a win.
  5. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    What the hell are you talking about? HDR doesnt flatten anything! It combine various pictures (of the same item) with various color space together! thats the exact opposite of what you just said! It allows you to end up with a 32bit picure insted of 12bit. That is why there are so many more color in a HDR shot.

    HDR is only useful when the color space you want to frame is very wide: from very dark to very bright with a lot of color tint.

    With the new Mark III, I guess it will be possible to make HDR portrait.. since each shot are spaced by 1/10 of a second, if the subject doesnt move much it could work! I am not computing the exposure time since its too small to be relevant compared to the 1/10 of a sec.

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