Exposure Bracketing: When You Need it & When You Don't (VIDEO)

Setting your camera to bracket exposures can help nail a shot when photographing landscape scenes in uncertain light. Yet, as you'll see in the tutorial below, sometimes this popular technique is merely a waste of time.

Instructor Mark Denney is very accomplished pro who posts weekly tutorials on important landscape photography skills. In this episode he explains what he says, "professionals know about bracketing that beginners ignore."

Denney admits that when first starting out he fell into the trap of "over-exposure-bracketing" that in some situations wasted a lot of time. Or has he puts it: "Don't get me wrong, bracketing undeniably has its place in the photographer's toolkit. But it's not a one-size-fits-all solution to achieving a perfect exposure."

In today's lesson Denney demonstrates how to determine if it's necessary to employ this technique. He also explains how recent advancements in digital-imaging technology factor into the equation when shooting in the field. His suggestions will accelerate your technique and may even prevent you from missing a fleeting moment.

Denney organized this lesson into four parts: When not to bracket, when you may want to bracketed, when you must bracket, and how to tell the difference. He also insists that you'll become a far better photographer by using in-camera exposure bracketing, rather than relying upon post processing to get the light right.

In basic terms, the decision you make is all about understanding your camera's limitations, the relationship between light and shadow, how to view the scene before you, and the proper way to read the camera's histogram. By understanding these variables you'll work faster, improve your skillset, and become a far more confident photographer.

Denney illustrates his advice with several images that fit into his no, maybe and yes, categories while explaining all the details. By the time the video concludes you'll now exactly what Hamlet meant when he said, "To bracket or not to bracket. That is the question."

Be sure to visit Denney's Instructional YouTube channel often, where you'll find helpful tips and tricks on a wide variety of shooting and image-editing techniques.

We also encourage you to watch the tutorial we posted from another expert recently, explaining why and how Color Calibration can be the secret to beautiful landscape photographs.