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High Dynamic Range Digital Photography For Dummies® by Robert Correll

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Chapter 5. Bracketing Exposures for HDR

In This Chapter

  • Deciding how many brackets to shoot

  • Comparing differences

  • Bracketing with exposure compensation

  • Manual bracketing

  • Shooting automatic brackets

  • Using an external light meter

Bracketing, the technical heart of HDR, is the photographic process you use to shoot differently exposed photos of the same scene. Each photo contains a segment or slice of the total dynamic range that was present. Together, they capture something close to what you see with your eyes.

It sounds simple enough. Shoot a few photos of a scene and then have the software put it all together as an HDR image that you tone map. When you get ready to take the photos, however, several questions come to mind.

  • How many brackets do you need? Two, three, four, or more?

  • What exposure value (EV) distance should you use: +/−1.0 EV or +/−2.0 EV? More? Less?

  • How do you shoot brackets on different cameras with different capabilities?

  • How do you shoot multiple sets of auto exposure bracketing (AEB) of a single scene?

  • Can you use an external light meter?

Bracketing Exposures for HDR

The answers to these questions — the subjects of this chapter — provide a firm foundation for you to shoot digital HDR photography with many different types of cameras in all sorts of situations.

Big Answers for Big Bracketing Questions

The two fundamental questions that dominate most discussions of HDR are

  • How many brackets do you need to shoot? ...

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