What is Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB)?

So you like to shoot in automatic mode… I get it, you’re a busy cat.  No time to spin some dials and press some buttons for you.  No worries, here is a way to get some better photographs without having to dial in the perfect exposure while your on the fly in automatic mode.  Most DSLR cameras have a little gem called Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB).  Here is the Readers Digest version of what it is and how it works.

When using automatic mode on your camera it will automatically pick what exposure its light meter thinks is best for the situation.  This isn’t always perfect, especially when you’re photographing in tough lighting situations like sunsets or sunrises.  In these situations AEB can be activated and your camera will take three photographs instead of just one.  If you’re in continuous shooting mode you just hold the shutter release down for three photos and if you’re in single shot mode you will press the shutter button down three times.  Each one of the photographs that you take on AEB will have a different exposure.  The first will be the “correct” exposure the camera chose for you and the second and third will be higher and lower exposed by 1/3 E.V., this way you will have more photos to choose from to find that “perfect” photograph.

Not so difficult right?  Here are a couple of tricks if you’d like to take some more control of your photography.  If you shoot in “S” (shutter priority) you choose the shutter speed and the camera will adjust aperture and ISO to give you your two lower and higher exposed photographs.  If you decide you’d like to control your depth of field (aperture) by shooting in “A” (aperture priority) then you’ll be able to set your aperture and the camera will automatically adjust your shutter speed and ISO to give you your lower and higher exposure to complement your first shot metered at what the camera thought was correct.

If you are feeling super confident, throw your camera into manual mode and use bracketing to save yourself some time from adjusting your exposure up and down while photographing your little dickens painting like baby Picasso.  Give it a try, you’ll like it.


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