Use Photo Bracketing for Perfect Travel & Nature Photos (VIDEO)

If your outdoor photographs often have blown-out highlights, crushed shadows, or a combination of both, our guess is that you’re not using exposure bracketing to perfect exposure when shooting in difficult lighting conditions. The tutorial below quickly explains how it’s done.

This particular problem is quite common when shooting scenes with a wide range of tones from bright highlights, deep shadows, and everything in between. It has to do with the fact that these lighting extremes may be visible to our eyes, but beyond the dynamic range of your camera’s sensor. 

The dilemma is easily resolved by shooting multiple images of the same scene, at different exposure settings (three is usually all you need), and merging them during the editing process. By taking this approach you’ll end up with perfectly exposed midtones, as well as highlights and shadows full of detail.

In this episode from British travel and nature photographer Mike Browne, you’ll learn the straightforward shooting and editing process for achieving perfect results. Browne recently took an early morning motorcycle ride to photograph the iconic Corfe Castle in Dorset on an uncharacteristically nice day.

As you’ll see, the beautiful weather was the problem, as the sky was so bright compared to the rest of the scene, that Browne had to make three shots—one for the sky, another for the shadows, and a third of the overall scene. He then merged the three images to achieve a truly outstanding result that couldn’t have been captured in the camera.

Shooting the original photos is a no brainer, but the merging process deserves a bit of explanation—especially for those who haven’t tried this before. It’s not difficult, and the end result is definitely worth the effort.

You can find many more of Browne’s motorcycle adventures, each with valuable photography information, by visiting his YouTube channel.

And be sure to check out the tutorial we posted recently from another expert, explaining what pros know about cropping photos that you don’t!