Bracketing is a technique that allows the photographer to take a series of photos of the same subject often with slightly different parameters. For example, it is possible to take several shots of the same scene with adjusted exposure to make up for bad lighting conditions. In post-processing, this allows to obtain a well-exposed single image by merging more exposures together. Today, the bracketing technique is mainly used in HDR photography, where you need a minimum of two exposures in order to generate the final HDR composite.
HDR on the iPhone is particularly popular because it’s easy and fun, but many HDR apps are very slow at taking bracketed photos. When there is no tripod available, this is particularly inconvenient and deeply affects the final outcome. Not everybody’s hands are as steady as it would be required to take separate exposures that perfectly overlap, so coming up with a good HDR image sometimes is particularly hard. How many occasions have you wasted already just because of this reason?
Bracket Mode by Cogitap Software is a tool specifically designed for the purpose of easily taking bracketed exposures to be effectively used to generate HDR composites within third party HDR apps.
- Full resolution available;
- Automatic or Manual mode;
As the name suggests, Bracket Mode helps you to obtain bracketed photos in the most simple and straightforward possible way. The app itself is very basic and to the point.
You can choose among two modes: Automatic and Manual. The difference between the two simply consists in the fact Manual lets you indicate dark and light areas by tapping on screen, while in Automatic you have to do nothing besides tapping on the shutter button while the software gathers all the necessary information on its own. After that, with Auto-saving feature enabled your bracketed images will be stored right away in your camera roll. Disabling Auto-saving, you have a preview of both images before saving: if the result is satisfactory you can save, otherwise you can start over. Bracket Mode IS NOT ABLE to make HDR composites; it only allows to take bracketed shots.
The main problem with this app is that, differently from what you are able to do with bracketing on a full-fledged camera, you cannot choose to adjust exposure settings or take more than two shots to make up for possible imperfections. Even in Manual mode, you can only define dark or light areas at the moment of shooting: this definitely doesn’t really give you full control over the final HDR image. Unless lighting conditions aren’t particularly good, with just two exposures in many cases you’ll have to struggle against halation issues. It must be said though that in any case HDR apps won’t let you merge together more than two exposures — but with a greater number of exposures and thus more available choices perhaps you’d still have a little more control.
Why picking Bracket Mode AND another app to merge the photos instead of directly picking an HDR app without the hassle of paying for, downloading and using two apps? As I said from the very beginning, because Bracket Mode is faster. This may look like a secondary aspect, but it can make a great difference in some instances.
In the case you have arms of steel or a tripod of some sorts, you probably won’t need to resort to using a tool like Bracket Mode for your iPhone HDR; in other cases, it all depends on what your priorities are. But if you use HDR extensively on your iPhone, Bracket Mode will make everything much easier.
Name: Bracket Mode
Developer: Cogitap Software
Compatibility: iPhone 3GS & 4, iPod Touch 4th, iPad 2. iOS 4.2 or later.