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Getting Perfect Digital Photos with Bracketing

April 8th, 2005 · No Comments

I get this question a lot so I want to share what I mean by “bracketing”. Now if you get ten professional fashion photographers (I don’t talk to wedding photographers because they are to artsy for me) in a room they will all have a different definition of “bracketing”. Kinda like dentist and occlusion. So here is what I mean by it. This is a page from my book (I have no clue when it will be done because the project keeps getting bigger and my publisher keeps wanting more) that describes how I bracket my shots when I am shooting outdoors. I will explain at the bottom what this has to do with dentistry for those of you not into marketing.

This is taken from a photo shoot I did a few weeks ago. I am in direct sunlight with no flash or filters. I am using the Canon 20D and a 24-70mm Macro Lens. I took these photos at 1 second intervals. I am going by the time recorded in the Meta file for each image. I took the image with F-stop 11 first. I used the histogram to confirm it. You can see the histogram at the top left of each photo. I never use a histogram for dentistry because the lighting is fixed in my operatories. Outside you have to worry about clouds, sun position, haze, etc. So I get the first photos and see what it looks like. Then as fast as I could I role the dial to the right and took the F-stop 13 photo and then two clicks to the left, started pushing the shutter button and continued until I went all the way down to F-stop 4.5. I do not look at each photo as I take them. I just go as fast as I can. In this case it took me five seconds once I had the first shot. You do not have to use a histogram and I only use it on very bright days and when I am getting paid for a shoot so the shots have to be perfect of whatever product I am shooting. By taking shots above and below what I think is the correct exposure (my definition of bracketing) I am positive one of the shots will be perfect.

So What does this have to do with dentistry? You can use the same concept to make sure at least some of your shots are perfect. If you saved some money by getting a cheaper camera you probably have trouble with some shots. By taking them on different setting one of them is bound to be perfect. This is very true for intraoral shots. If you are taking photos of your patients for marketing then this is a good method also. Keep in kind that some of the very bright photos will look great in Black and White.

Tags: Digital Photography

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