Do Wedding are Portrait Photographers use Bracketing?


No longer a newbie, moving up!
May 2, 2013
Reaction score
Dallas TX
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I've been playing around with the bracketing function on my D7100 and got to wondering, do photographers use it for events such as weddings and or portraits? I'm not talking so much about HDR or stacking as I'm talking about being used as a calculated safety?

These days the camera can give a pretty good level of exposure feedback to the photographer from the histogram display on the back of the camer a -quick look and a photographer can check the exposure. They are likely to take repeat shots or even a small burst of photos for some situations. For example group shots they might do a couple of times to ensure that everyone has their eyes open, a few shots helps ensure that everyone should have them open at some point and gives the photographer eyes to work with from the person if they have them shut for one shot.

A few other things can also help:
1) External light meters which give exposure info based upon ambient light instead of reflected (they read the light present in the scene as opposed to the camera meter which reads light reflected off the subject). For a situation where the light is nearly or fully static this can help get solid exposures each and every time that won't be "fooled" by the subject as the built in camera meter can be*

2) Test shots and a meeting before the event - checking out the lighting of the venue can help a lot, they'll know (within a little) what to expect and where. OF course experience working within a certain area also gives this over time as well.

3) Experience - I'll say it again, experience helps a lot. Some will still take shots and bracketed exposures and the like for insurance (and since its digital it costs you nothing**). Better to have and not need than to not have and need

*good example of this is snow, which a camera will attempt to render as grey instead of white where its the dominant element in the scene under the meter.

** digital photos do cost "time" to process for the photographer. Clearly if they are shooting vast amounts of waste shots then that can slow their processing step and also might increase the size of storage space that they'll need to keep the photos on both at their place of work and also on the day shooting.
I don't use it during portraits except during very rare circumstances when I'll go up or down 1/3 if I'm dealing with something annoying like a black trousers & white shirt situation. For wedding/event-type work, if I'm in a situation where I can't use a speedlight and the conditions are dicey, I may very well bracket 1/3 over & under just to be safe, IF I have the time (ie the recessional is probably NOT the time).
Also, keep in mind that there is a difference between manually bracketing your exposures and using the bracketing function on your camera. The bracketing function will fire 3 shots in rapid succession, with 2 of the +/- the amount of exposure compensation you have dialed in. This won't usually work for strobes or flash as they can't recycle fast enough.
What's bracketing? :)
i will sometimes do it manually if I want to try a few different exposures, but I don't use the in camera bracketing. I shoot manual so i just spin the dial.
What's bracketing? :)

That's where you attach one of those 30 lb. brackets to your camera so you can move the flash three inches away. When you leave a six hour wedding with your arm in a sling, some one will look at you and say, "Oh, he must have been bracketing."
I thought bracketing was something done during the Final Four?

Kathy, it's when you take multiple images of something but each identical shot has the exposure adjusted. Usually one under exposed, one with what the meter says is the correct exposure, and the third over exposed. It comes in handy for those tricky exposures and also some use it for HDR. Depending on the camera the exposure over and under can be preset up to three stops or so. It's function that can be set automatically on many DSLRs.
i will sometimes do it manually if I want to try a few different exposures, but I don't use the in camera bracketing. I shoot manual so i just spin the dial.

This is how I normally do things as well, I just wanted to get filmiliar with the options on my new camera. I was just curious since weddings are special (and hopefully once and a life time) events.
I have a Nikon D800. I don't need no stinking bracketing!! j/k :D I don't bracket for event photography and it has to do with me not wanting to use a tripod.
I don't use bracketing for weddings or portraits; I have used it when doing landscapes and HDRs obviously. I have a bad habit of forgetting that I turned it on, so I'm always worried that my wedding photos will turn out bracketed! If in doubt, I just do a couple of quick test shots with the in-camera light meter and exposure compensation.

Most reactions