Exercise 1.8 – Bracketing exposures

Bracketing exposures means making three to five shots of the same subject at different exposures. This gives you more choice to work with later, resulting in more controlled shadows and highlights.

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I didn’t want to spend too long on this exercise as it seemed more technically based rather than researched based. So basic images, get it done, move on. I have been flicking through Michael Fried’s ‘Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before’, (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2008) this weekend. Many people on their blogs seem to mention it, and it may even be referenced for some of the coursework, so I had purchased it a couple of weeks ago and am making my way through it. The usual suspects are mentioned. I saw a Thomas Demand image in there that I took as a starting place for this exercise. Rather cheesily it reminded me of the old garden slabs I need to get rid of in the back garden.

As I had the camera on the tripod I knew I could keep the exposure time slow. So kept ISO at 100, aperture at f5, and varied the times. The optimum exposure according to the light meter was 1/15th of a second, above. Then it was just a matter of 2 up 2 down.

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Above : ISO100, f5, exposure time lengthened to 1/8th second.

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Above : ISO100, f5, exposure time lengthened to 1/4 second.

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Above : ISO100, f5, exposure time shortened to 1/30th second.

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Above : ISO100, f5, exposure time shortened to 1/60th second.

Maybe because of the materials involved I found the darker exposures more forgiving. The overexposed images looked washed-out and pale, while blaring out the aluminium. The underexposures allowed for deep shadows while maintaining some details on the aluminium. The day was rather dull, so I didn’t need to factor in elongated shadows or bright lights bouncing off the aluminium.

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