Learn how to do Exposure bracketing. What all you can do with AEB. Take your photography skills to next level.

What is Exposure Bracketing?

Exposure bracketing is the technique by which we can capture a single scene in multiple exposures. Normally, a digital camera will have the Auto exposure bracketing (AEB) setting. Once you enable it, it will take 3 images continuously in 3 different exposures. One will be darker, one lighter and one in 0 exposure. By default, all cameras take 3 shots in AEB Mode. Learn how to do Exposure bracketing. What all you can do with AEB. 

Auto Exposure Bracketing

In certain cameras, you can increase the number of shots to 5 or 7. You can even set by how many stops you want to it to be darker. For example, you can take 3 shots at +1,0.-1 exposures and another 3 in +2,0,-2 exposures. If you set for 5 shots then you can take 2 shots darker, 2 lighter and one in 0 exposure, -2,-1,0,+1,+2 (example).

Why Exposure Bracketing?

There are 2 situations in which you can make use of AEB

1. For HDR

If you want to create an HDR image then you should have 3 images in 3 exposures to create the HDR. Since you need more dynamic range, you need to capture images which have all the details for Shadows, Highlights, and Midtones. You can make use of Auto Exposure Bracketing to get the 3 or more shots in multiple exposure. Combine the images to HDR in Photoshop.

2. In Tricky Lighting 

Certain light conditions can be tricky. If you shoot at the normal exposure you may end up burning the highlights or you may lose details in Shadows. Make use of Exposure bracketing to capture the scene in multiple exposures. later you can select the image with correct exposure during post processing.

Camera Settings for Auto Exposure Bracketing 

Now, you would have understood, what this feature will do and when to use it? Let us see, How to use it?

  • You can choose the Bracketing Sequence in this Menu.

Auto Exposure Bracketing Camera Settings

  • By default, it is -0+. When you hold down the shutter button continuously then it will record 3 images in the following order: -1 Exposure, 0 Exposure, and +1 Exposure. If you want to alter this sequence, you can use the other 2 options.

Auto Exposure Bracketing Camera Settings

  • Select this Menu option if you want to increase the number of Bracketed shots

Camera Settings Auto Exposure Bracketing

  • The number of shots varies with camera models. In Canon 1DX Mark ii, they have given options for 2,3,5 and 7. It would be in 3 (Recommended settings) by default. You can increase the count if you want more details in the final HDR image.

Camera Settings Auto Exposure Bracketing

  • If you want to Bracket all your shots from now onwards then disable the Bracketing auto cancel option from the Main Menu.

How to Shoot in AEB?

You are done with the settings. Now, we will see, How to capture?

Go to any mode in the camera which supports varying Exposure compensation. Select the Exposure section. Move the rotating dial on the top (one which you use to change the values in different modes). Slide it to the right side, you can see that the bar under the exposure slider got split into 3 sections. These 3 will be equispaced.

Camera Settings AEB

I have set the Exposure stop increment factor to 1/3. So, it will get shifted by 1/3rd on both sides, every time I turn the dial, w.r.t the centre. I need to turn the dial 3 times to right to set -1,0,1 Exposure settings for 3 shots.

Camera Settings AEB

Start shooting in AEB and turn them into wonderful HDR Images

Don’t use AEB to capture HDR images of subjects in motion. It is only applicable to still subjects when it comes to HDR.