Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nikon D90 Auto Bracketing

Earlier this year I was on a four day photo workshop learning how to shoot waterfalls.

A lot of the photographers were bracketing their photos and they made it look so easy! They'd press the shutter release and the camera would bang out 3 or more shots in less than a second.

My Nikon D90 wasn't playing so nice. I spent half an hour looking for the bracket option in the camera menu before I found it, a button labeled [BKT], on the left side of the camera next to the lens.

Pressing the button doesn't turn on bracketing but, it does display 0F followed by a number between 0.5 and 2.0. Rotate the back command dial to change 0F (off or 0 frames) to -2F (2 frames under exposed), +2F (2 frames over exposed) or 3F (3 frames, one under, one over and one normally exposed). Rotate back to 0F to turn bracketing off.

Next, while still holding the [BKT] button, rotate the front command dial to change the second numbers from 0.5 to 2.0. This changes the amount of over or under exposure from half a stop to two stops.

Finally, if you want to fire off all the shots with one press of the shutter button - it took me the longest to figure this tip out - change the shutter mode from single shot [S] to high speed [H] or low speed [L] continuous shooting. Sounds pretty simple now but, it took me a couple of months to figure this out :)

What if you want to use the self timer to take all three bracket shots? That's pretty simple too. Go into the menu, locate option c3, Self Timer and change the number of shots to 3. Finally, change the shooting mode dial to display both the timer and the low [L] speed continuous shooting mode. When the shutter is pressed the timer will count down and take all 3 shots.

Neat, huh?!


  1. Hey, thanks, you saved me a bit of time. First good explaination of bracketing with self timer. Very clear and conscise.

  2. VERY helpful! Thank you for the detailed, yet simple explanation.