These days digital SLRs and new compact pro cameras are getting better at averaging high contrast scenes. Some cameras like the new Fujifilm X-E1 even offer AE Bracketing (Auto Exposure Bracketing) in camera. I will be testing this feature out as soon as my X-E1 arrives.
Achieving the correct exposure in a single photo can be quite challenging in difficult lighting situations. I have seen quite a few landscape photos with the most common problem being blown out skies where the photographer has exposed for the foreground and hasn’t taken an additional photo exposing for the sky. Gradient filters work to a certain degree but for the best exposure result I would recommend bracketing.
Bracketing means to take three separate photos of the same scene; one exposing for the highlights and the other two exposing for mid-tones and shadow areas. The result should look something like these images a friend took:
So now that the photos have been taken the big question is how do you go about merging the photos together into one high dynamic range photo? My answer….Photoshop.
Watch and learn as I take these photos (taken by a friend) through a quick lesson in Photoshop. The end result of the 2 part tutorial can be seen below (Part 2 will be out tomorrow).
If you have any questions on bracketing let me know by submitting a comment below.
Until next time – Happy Shooting