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On Bracketing

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by nathanh, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. nathanh

    nathanh TalkEmount Regular

    136
    Jan 23, 2015
    I should be bracketing. It's practically 'free' to do, and sometimes can make a significant difference. A part of me is still a thrifty kid, shooting on a second hand OM1, trying to make every frame count.
     
  2. dmward

    dmward TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Mar 21, 2015
    Metro Chicago
    David
    I know what you mean.
    With film, we were limited by the number of rolls of film we took with us on an excursion.
    With digital the only limit is the number of cards we can cram into a pocket. :)

    It does sometimes surprise me how many images load into Lightroom after a walk with bracketing turned on.
     
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I can see the value of bracketing when shooting a scene with an extreme dynamic range. But I almost never need to with the latitude that the A7's raw files give me.
     
  4. robbie36

    robbie36 TalkEmount Veteran

    487
    Nov 21, 2014
    I think there is another side to the concept of bracketing other than increasing your dynamic range.

    In order to maximise your image quality at base iso you need to 'ETTR' or get as much light on the sensor as possible. If you underexpose your image you can always push it to the right or not pull it back so far from the right but you will reduce your image quality from its optimal level.

    If you choose an exposure and then bracket '-1, 0, +1' you can be pretty certain of getting pretty close to an ideal exposure. You might be surprised as to how often your +1EV exposure doesnt in fact blow your highlights (and results in cleaner shadows). Of course we are only talking a stop here but given how important some people value an extra stop of performance, it is worth considering.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. nathanh

    nathanh TalkEmount Regular

    136
    Jan 23, 2015
    That's a real good point. Bracketing like that is the "lazy person's" way to ETTR. (I count myself as lazy.) Yet another reason I should be doing it. Because while 1 in 5 photos I consider a keeper end up ETTR by "chance", quite a few could benefit from being further to the right, and occasionally they need to move left, which such bracketing would enable too.
     
  6. dmward

    dmward TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Mar 21, 2015
    Metro Chicago
    David
    The ETTR aspect is why I now use 2EV between the images in a bracket. Then use the EC dial to further refine the spread. The goal is to get exposures that are ideal for processing, and also a set of bracketed exposures that can be combined via Lightroom and Photoshop into a 32 bit file if the extra dynamic range is required.

    I use Av mode when walking around outside. Combined with the C mode bracketing the three frames are created in less than a second, maybe two.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    It's not the extra work nor time required to bracket that would bother me. It's all of the extra frames cluttering up my already bloated Lightroom library.

    Sorry, this thread is getting way off topic, isn't it? :doh:
     
  8. nathanh

    nathanh TalkEmount Regular

    136
    Jan 23, 2015
    That's actually part of my hesitation, as well (bloat). And yes, this is off topic. I should probably start a new one.
     
  9. dmward

    dmward TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Mar 21, 2015
    Metro Chicago
    David
    Just to continue down the off topic path :), I've never considered "bloat". Storage is inexpensive and I create Lightroom libraries per year. And, one for personal, one for commercial. I have one 4 TB drive that is labeled Portfolio. As I refine my images I export the best to that drive. Since all my files are in date labeled folders its easy to go back to the original folder if necessary.

    (How's that for really getting off topic?)

    BTW, took a walk along a forest preserve trail today with the 24-240. I really like it as a walk around lens.
    I took a small Domke bag and threw in a guerrilla pod. There is also room for the 16-35 if I think I need to have really wide option.
    Haven't taken the time to go through the images yet.

    One thing I'm learning to like about the A7II, also the A7R, is the tilt out LCD. It lets me use the camera as though it were a TLR or Hasselblad. Makes it much easier to get low angle shots.