Exposure bracketing and white balance.

No, bracketing in photography - these are not shy girls in braces on their teeth.

Bracketing (BKT) - article by Radozhiva

Bracketing (BKT) - article from Radozhiva

Camera Bracketing - This is an opportunity to make a series of frames with different exposures. Although, in our time, there is bracketing white balanceWhere Exposition all frames in the bracketing series are the same, but white balance - different. Also, some cameras have the ability to focus bracketingwhere a series of shots just has a different focusing distance. Due to the fact that my Nikon D200 only supports bracketing exposure и white balance, there is nothing about focus bracketing in this article. You can read more in the section focus bracketing.

Usually with bracketing enabled exposurecamera takes multiple shots with different exposures. How much will change Exposition in a series of shots in bracketing mode, responds bracketing pitch. The bracketing step can almost always be set. The step answers how much the pictures will differ by exposure in the bracketing series. The step is measured in steps (feet or steps), feet are indicated by letters ev (exposure value). On almost all cameras, the standard step values ​​are 0.3 (1 \ 3) ev, 0.7 (2 \ 3) ev, 1 ev A step of 1 ev increases or decreases exposure by half.

Very often under bracketing exposure understand the symmetrical number of shots with increased and decreased exposure. In such a symmetrical mode, bracketing series consists of 3, 5, 7 or 9 shots. The number of shots may be more. For example, 3-shot bracketing means that one shot will be taken without correction exposure, one photo with exposure compensation in the “plus” and another one with exposure compensation in the “minus”.

Bracketing happens not symmetrical, but only with increase or decrease excerpts. That is, shooting in this mode, you can get pictures either only with reduced or increased exposure. One-side bracketing is used when you know exactly which way it is desirable to “move” the exposure. It is very convenient to observe the exposure shift with bar charts.

In many cameras, only bracketing is available. shutter speed and flash. This means that only a change in exposure is affected. excerpt or flash power.

Let me give you an example, let the bracketing step be 0.3 ev - this means that the pictures will differ from each other by 1/3 stops.

  • If symmetric bracketing for 3 shots is selected, pictures with + -0 ev, + 0.3ev, -0.3ev will be taken
  • If symmetric bracketing is selected for 5 pictures, then pictures with + -0 ev, + 0.3ev, + 0.7ev, -0.3ev, -0.7ev will be taken
  • If symmetric bracketing is selected for 9 shots, then pictures with + -0 ev, + 0.3ev, + 0.7ev, + 1e.v., + 1.3ev, -0.3ev, -0.7ev, -1e.v will be taken ., -1.3ev

But there are other types of exposure bracketing:

  1. Bracketing by shutter speed - changes excerpt.
  2. ISO bracketing (usually only works at auto-ISO) - ISO and / or shutter speed changes.
  3. Flash bracketing - The flash output changes.
  4. Aperture diaphragm - the aperture value changes.
  5. Often bracketing combined - change in the complex values excerpts, aperture, ISO and flash output.
Exposure bracketing for 3 pictures with a change in shutter speed (shutter \ flash mode)

Exposure bracketing for 3 pictures with a change excerpts (shutter speed / flash mode)

Aperture bracketing is rarely used, as the aperture changes the depth of field. On my camera Nikon D200 Aperture bracketing (flash \ aperture) is available only in manual mode M. In many cameras, bracketing only by shutter speed / flash is available.

Exposure bracketing for 3 pictures with aperture change (aperture / flash mode)

Exposure bracketing for 3 pictures with aperture change (aperture / flash mode)

Often, a step is limited to just one step 1e.v (from 0 to 1 ev). If symmetrical bracketing is performed on 3 pictures, then three pictures will be taken with normal exposure, increased by 1 step and reduced by 1 step. Three brackets are often called expo-saw (branching the frame into 3 takes with different settings, similar to a fork).

3-shot exposure bracketing with varying flash output (BKT flash mode)

3-shot exposure bracketing with varying flash output (BKT flash mode)

What is bracketing used for?

  1. For precise exposure. This is the main goal of bracketing. Several pictures with different exposures make it more likely to find a picture (photograph) with a good exposure.
  2. For exact selection white balance. Similarly, multiple shots with different BB will allow you to choose the most successful.
  3. For accurate focusing. From a series of shots with different focus settings, you can choose the best option. In more detail here.

Bracketing convenient to take HDR pictures. Usually, HDR is made of 3 pictures with different exposures.

Exposure bracketing for 3 shots with iSO change (shutter mode with auto ISO)

Exposure bracketing for 3 shots with iSO change (shutter mode with auto ISO)

Bracket Order

This is another bracketing option. Using it, you can set the order in which the camera will take pictures in the camera. For example, the camera can first take a picture without changing the exposure, then with a decrease in exposure, and then with an increase. Or he can first do it with an amendment to minus, because the norm (N), then with an amendment to plus. I use the latter option, it is easy to memorize it “minus, norm, plus”, or, visually “-, N, +". In different cameras in different ways, but the principle is the same.

How does bracketing take place?

Keep in mind whether bracketing is on or off.. Typically, this is indicated by the inscription BKT (bracketing) on ​​the camera display or in the viewfinder. Each shot in the bracketing series is taken separately. I highly recommend shooting with bracketing in slow mode to take one burst of shots from the brackets and not get lost in the bursts. Simply, when a series of shots with different exposures ends, the camera does not give any signal, and if you continue to shoot, a new series of shots begins. It often happens that bracketing is simply forgotten to turn off and you get pictures with different exposures in a circle. I highly recommend reviewing the bracketing instructions for your camera. For example, bracketing management on my Nikon D80, D90, D200 quite different.

White Balance Bracketing

White Balance Bracketing

 Personal experience

Personally, I rarely use bracketing, as I shoot mainly in RAW and at low ISO, which allows you to programmatically control the exposure with virtually no degradation in picture quality. RAW in this regard is a very flexible format, you can see how “pulled RAW compared to JPEG". Bracketing by white balance I don’t use at all, as BB very easy to fix in RAW using a RAW editor.

 If your camera does not have bracketing?

It's okay, it is needed in very, very rare cases, you can do without it perfectly. In order to realize bracketing on a camera where there is no such function, it is enough to take pictures with exposure compensation at the desired level. I can easily do without bracketing on my simple Nikon D40, although advanced and professional cameras use a special bracketing button, so for real pros, bracketing is a convenient tool for taking the highest quality pictures.


Exposure Bracketing - Useful for perfect exposure shots... Bracketing is very convenient for taking pictures for creating HDR photos. Instead of taking multiple shots in bracketing mode, I recommend correcting a small exposure compensation in the RAW file. White balance bracketing, too, can be done very easily with a RAW converter.

Add a comment: Bator



Comments: 41, on the subject: Exposure bracketing and white balance.

  • Alexander

    Arkady, good afternoon. I read your article. Easy to understand. My question is, how do I set the order of exposure bracketing? I have a Nikon D5100 camera. Thank you. Alexander

    • Michael

      Customization in custom settings. This is usually called

Add a comment

Copyright © Radojuva.com. Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2012/02/bracketing-exposure-wb-focus/comment-page-2/?replytocom=54511

Versión en español de este artículo https://radojuva.com/es/2012/02/bracketing-exposure-wb-focus/comment-page-2/?replytocom=54511