Exercise 1.8: Exposure Bracketing

Back in the day when I was a regular user of slide film I’d almost always be underexposing by half-a-stop to keep colours punchy. I mostly used Velvia, so there was rarely any subtlety left!

I still mostly underexpose as I find it is easier to develop detail from shadows than it is to try and retrieve them from blown out areas, but I’ve not used bracketing so much. With great in-camera spot metering and an exposure preview with a histogram there is normally plenty of opportunity to get the right exposure without it.

I used the same Ranmore Common location as for the ‘Soft Light Landscape’, this time shooting from underneath a huge oak. The tree provides a great frame for the view through the North Downs towards Guildford. If I had to pick one of these without the opportunity to edit I’d probably go for the non-bracketed shot (left), possibly the over-exposed (middle). Under exposure on such an overcast day has left the middle and distant landscapes looking a bit too dull for my liking.

However, with the magic of Photoshop and my new Wacom Intuos tablet I can try for better than that. Using the under-exposed image I’ve selectively burned the mid-ground and some of the middle-distance trees.

Now I see it in the centre of my post I can see I have gone a bit OTT burning in the sky, but I’m leaving it here as a reminder to be a little more subtle in the future! Hoever I’m really liking the way the grassy area and trees seem to glow – there’s mileage in this approach which I wouldn’t have found without this exercise.

Exposure Bracket - Edit

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