Venturing into the woods to capture the first light streaming through the canopy is one of the special moments in photography. There’s a true feeling of satisfaction in shooting forest photography, particularly on bright autumn mornings, but it also presents its share of challenges – namely, how to get a good exposure. In this tutorial we explain how to set up your camera to shoot high-contrast photography, and then edit your bracketed exposures on the computer.
If you’re struggling to get well-exposed images in mixed light, try this simple photo bracketing technique to help preserve shadow and highlight detail.
Although DSLRs have three different metering patterns to handle tricky lighting, these aren’t enough on their own. You can use a range of other techniques to fix the exposure, such as your camera’s Exposure Lock function. In this post we’ll talk you through three of the most useful camera features that can improve your exposure techniques, such as bracketing, as well as offer some advanced camera tips for fine-tuning them to help you start taking photos you can be proud of.
Getting exposure right is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when shooting landscapes. Often, you’ll find that the ideal exposure times for the sky and foreground will differ by two to three stops. You can use a graduated ND filter to balance the exposure, but this means having to haul around filters and holders. Your camera’s exposure bracketing function offers a nice compromise that lets you capture all the detail in your high-contrast scenes.
Auto-exposure bracketing enables you to automatically take a series of shots at different exposure settings. By changing the shutter speed (or aperture), the camera brackets the original exposure in preset increments (usually between 1/3 to two stops) to capture three or more successive shots. Bracketing ensures a correct exposure in situations when you need to shoot quickly and you don’t have time to check the histogram.
Auto-exposure bracketing makes this process much easier because it allows you to take a series of frames from precisely the same position (so that overlapping frames will align correctly) with different exposure settings to record both highlight and shadow detail.
Learn how to read your camera’s exposure meter and alter key
camera settings that enable you to get exposures just right