I’m currently traveling on a vacation where I’ve chosen to leave as much gear behind as possible. Okay let’s be honest. It’s a family vacation and my wife informed me I’d be leaving it most of it behind.
I’m really enjoying digging deeper into HDR shooting and processing. The auto-align features in Photomatix Pro are liberating and allow for handheld shooting in many lighting conditions.
Here’s a five-exposure shot with bracketing set to +/- 1 increments.
The end result I’m happy with. Here’s how I shot it without a tripod.
- Find a sturdy surface to set the camera. This can be a railing, garbage can, wall, etc.
- Adjust the camera’s exposure triangle to get a balanced exposure.
- I usually choose to modify Aperture, setting the depth of field first.
- Adjust the Shutter Speed and ISO to keep the exposures short as to minimize camera shake and movement.
- Choose a bracketing option on your camera.
- Set the camera to use its high-speed burst mode.
- Frame the shot and brace the camera. You can use your body, a bean bag, or available objects.
- Exhale your breath, don’t hold it which causes shake.
- Fire the shots. Consider shooting multiple sets of brackets so you have options to develop.
I hope this technique helps you the next time you find yourself light on gear. A tripod is always ideal, but not always available. This is (of course) just one way to solve the problem of shooting HDR without a tripod.
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