New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash

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To view the entire course, upgrade to Premium or purchase it in the SLR Lounge Store.


With HDR photography, we are often consecutively capturing 3 or more shots with different exposures of the same scene to create a final HDR image. If we are manually capturing the shots in our HDR sequence, the chances of detail reduction in our images will increase as you might cause the camera to shake every time you press the camera shutter (not to mention ghosting caused by a longer duration between shots). So how can we minimize movement if we need to take consecutive images? Is there a way to take all the shots we need without having to press the camera shutter every time? The answer is yes! We can turn on our camera’s “continuous shooting” mode to take multiple shots with just a single click of the shutter. But before we start explaining the “continuous shooting” mode, we need to talk about Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) first.


Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) is a feature that is automatically built into most modern (within the last 5 years or so) DSLR cameras. Some advanced point-and-shoot cameras may also have this feature built-in. Now, all cameras are different so consult your manual to set up AEB in your specific camera. However, the general principles will apply to AEB, regardless of the camera model and brand. First, you need to choose the number of images you want in your bracketing sequence (if your camera offers this option). The number of images you can choose will depend on your camera. As we will discuss later, the optimal number of images in a AEB sequence is going to generally be 3 images.


Next, you need to define how far you want the exposure value spacing to be between each image in the sequence. So for example, you can set your images to vary between either 1, 2 or even 3 stops. Once again, consult your camera’s manual to set up AEB. Again, the optimal exposure value spacing between images is generally 2 stops, which we will chat about more later in this series.



Now, every camera is different, so the way your HDR images are shot depends on your camera’s features. If you have properly set up and dialed in your AEB, your camera should automatically fire 3 (or however many images you specified in your AEB) consecutive shots with just a single press of the shutter. If you find yourself having to manually press the shutter to take all of the exposure shots that are in the sequence, then your camera’s “continuous shooting” mode is probably turned off. Again, consult your camera’s manual to learn how to turn on the “continuous shooting” mode for your specific make/model.

Here is the continuous shooting mode function on a Canon 5D Mark III.

Step 1. Push the AF-Drive option

Step 2. Flip the dial until you see the 3 photo icon with the H (standing for High Speed).

On a Nikon D800, simply turn the dial to the continuous shooting mode as shown below.


Once you have turned on your camera’s “continuous shooting” mode, your camera should fire all 3 (or more, depending on your AEB) consecutive shots without any further assistance. The “continuous shooting” mode is a great and useful feature because it will aid us in maximizing image detail since your shots will be fired quicker. In addition, using the “continuous shooting” mode will decrease camera shake, thus eliminating potential camera shake in your images.

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