In addition to the features that Les Brown describes for his digital
camera, the Canon PowerShot A620, two other features that my Nikon
Coolpix 995 has that I find indispensable for shooting images of my
With bracketing, you shoot one shot at what you have decided the
optimum exposure is, and then shoot additional exposures at one
f-stop up and one f-stop down, creating additional shots that are
darker and lighter, then you decide from among them which one is the
Manual bracketing requires the camera to be operated in manual mode,
and you physically change the f-stop for each shot.
Automatic bracketing is done in the automatic mode. First, the
camera decides what the optimum settings are, then it automatically
changes the settings for each subsequent shot. With my camera, the
options are three (one optimum, one f-stop up, one f-stop down) or
seven exposures (one optimum, three at three different f-stops
lighter than optimum, and three at three different f-stops darker
than optimum). Letting the camera do this automatically saves me tons
What saves even more time is setting the camera to continuous
shooting. In that mode, you press the shutter button a little longer,
and the camera takes all of the shots with one press of the button.
Without continuous shooting, you have to press the shutter button for
each of the bracketed exposures.
I was doing bracketing manually before I discovered that my camera
could do it for me, and always putting off taking the pictures
because it was such a pain.
On a completely different subject, there is something else that you
can do with bracketed exposures that I have been enjoying
experimenting with. It’s called High Dynamic Range, or HDR
[alternately called Dynamic Range Increase or DRI]. You use a tool
called Photomatix, which is $99 if you purchase it, or free if you
don’t mind the Photomatix watermark appearing in the photos. It’s
available heRe: http://www.hdrsoft.com/ and there is a great example
on that page.
I have been experimenting with it for my jewelry photography. I did
one quick experiment that you can view here, along with one