The Power of Bracketing Your Images (Even in The Ocean)

Do you think bracketing is necessary in today's world, where cameras are so sophisticated and post-production software so advanced? Whether you're a beginner or an experienced photographer, seeing how bracketing is used here will almost certainly spike your creative ideas.

As little pieces of machinery, cameras these days are almost minor miracles in terms of the features they offer you and the results they can give compared with 50 or even 20 years ago. With every new iteration or new model, the spec sheets just get more and more impressive, so much so that you begin to wonder where they'll be 30 years from now. Be that as it may, there are still many techniques dating back to the days of film that have stood the test of time and are still as relevant today as ever. Bracketing is one of them.

In this extremely informative video by Tom Woods, he briefly walks you through the background of bracketing and then proceeds to explain in great detail exactly why you might want to bracket, how it can help you in different scenarios, and why it's still an eminently useful technique despite the power of modern-day software. What I found most interesting and thought-provoking was his use of bracketing while he was neck-deep in the ocean at dusk with a model and a surfboard. We typically tend to associate bracketing with landscape work, but seeing it done in portraiture, in such an unusual location (in terms of standard bracketing expectations) opened a whole new set of creative ideas for me. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced photographer, I think the unique display of bracketing here can help germinate a whole new world of creative possibilities for you.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

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