Mirror Lock Up enable Canon

MLU and Bracketing in Photography

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In this post, we will know about two terms that will surely allow you to obtain incredible photos in several situations and climb to a more professional level. The first one is the mirror block (Mirror Lock-Up) or simply MLU by its acronym.

MLU is a function of the SLR camera that will allow you an additional stage in the shooting process. The moment you need to capture the image, this mirror will lift automatically. This movement is usually abrupt because every sequence happens in thousandths of a second.

If you activate the mirror lock option, you will cut the trigger action into two parts, and thus you will be able to control the mirror lift and shutter phases.

MLU and Bracketing in Photography

With the MLU, you must press the shutter button twice to capture the image. The first time you press it, the camera will raise the mirror, but it does not activate the curtains or the sensor. For the second time, it is when the camera proceeds to capture the photograph. Thus, the movement of the curtains is more subtle, and therefore the trepidation will be less.

Another technique that you might not have heard of is bracketing. It is nothing out of the ordinary, and it consists of taking several photographs of identical composition and framing. However, you will vary a parameter: exposure, white balance, focus, flash, or ISO.

This can be done when your device cannot accurately capture all the parameter settings for the image. One solution is to take several shots by varying the parameter you need to adjust.

Now you will know a little more in-depth about what these functions are about and how they can help you.

Utility of mirror lock

You are always looking for photographs that have a good focus. The inconvenience that may arise is the mirror’s movement, which can cause small vibrations that may disturb the sharpness. These vibrations can be reduced with the mirror lock.

It is useful that when shooting blocking the mirror, use some method of remote shooting. The shutter’s first press will raise the mirror, but with this lock, the diaphragm does not open. For the second press, when the photo is captured, you can use the camera’s timer so that the shot has a delay of a couple of seconds.

This action is similar to the mirror lock, and you press the shutter on the camera or the remote control. With this, the cam lifts the mirror; you wait a couple of seconds and then take the picture automatically.

The mirror locking technique is instrumental when you need extra sharpness. The most common cases are in macro or landscape photographs. For both situations, you need to use tiny openings so that the framing is well focused.

The mirror lock option, where can I locate it?

The location of the function to control the mirror will depend on the camera model you have:

  • For Canon cameras, this is located in custom functions.
  • In Nikon camera models, you must activate it in the tools section and search all functions. In this case, some models bring a simplified menu, and this option does not appear firsthand. So make sure to check the entire menu.

Mirror Lock Up - MLU and Bracketing

How to use bracketing

As we mentioned before, this technique is nothing more than taking several photographs of similar composition and framing but was a parameter that can be the focus, exposure, white balance, flash, or ISO is varied.

The mechanism to apply this technique is simple. The first step is to select this function in the camera, depending on the camera model. According to this, you can enter the menu, or in some cases, this function is included in the camera’s shooting modes.

Once the function is selected, the camera must allow you to vary the parameters used in this technique, focus, exposure, white balance, flash, or ISO. You must choose one of them.

Use of bracketing

The precise moment to use bracketing is when your camera cannot take all the correct exposure, focus, and white balance settings.

Usually, the most common setting is exposure for high-contrast scenes, where lights or shadows are often sacrificed. If you apply the bracketing, you will get several shots of the same scene but with different values.

With these takes, you could:

  • Select subsequently the shot that has the results that resemble what you are looking for.
  • Join the images, integrate the information with specialized software to obtain a complete picture with the correct values.

Types of bracketing that you can use

The most common bracketing is exposure, but it is not the only one that exists. Next, we will show you the different types that there are:

Bracketing exposure

Many cameras have an automatic system, which will allow you to capture several shots simultaneously with different exposure values. Usually, the camera takes a shot with the correct or adequate exposure value, another slightly underexposed, and another overexposed.

If you do not have this automatic configuration on your camera, you will have to manually make the settings. For that, you will need to use a tripod not to alter the framing of the scene. If you do not want to change the depth of field, it is good that you adjust the speed of the scene and not the diaphragm.

Bracketing focus

If you are looking to increase the depth of field, you can opt for bracketing. With the same method as exposure through different shots focusing on different areas of the image, you can obtain a substantial increase in the depth of field of the image you want. You can do this with the help of an editing program to join the different shots into one.

This type of bracketing is used for macro photographs. In this case, you have to vary the focus distance in each shot, which will allow you to obtain different images in which the correct focus is located in a different place.

You can manually use this technique, varying the focus by hand or even moving the camera in a millimeter way.

Bracketing flash

In combination with natural lighting, not only based on the flash, preferably used as a fill flash. This technique seeks to adjust this parameter with different power values to obtain a better result.

Bracketing white balance

In this case, it is about making different shots by varying the white balance. This is intended to obtain the best shot when the dominant light’s color temperature is not clear. This is something you can also do if you use the RAW format. With this, you will change the white balance to posterior.

Bracketing ISO

If you are looking to maintain the speed and aperture exposure values, you can vary the ISO values to obtain different noise levels since it will not affect the exposure.

Tips for making bracketing exposure

At the moment of making bracketing exposure, you can apply these recommendations:

  • Shoot using the camera’s self-timer or at a fast speed. You have to remember that for bracketing, you must keep the frame.
  • Use a tripod because it is an indispensable element if you apply it to the bracket manually. With this element, you will keep the frame.
  • Make sure that the objects to be photographed are static.
  • Use the adequate measurement mode as appropriate. If the contrast of the scene is very high, and you will work manually, the most convenient thing is to measure which one will make the appropriate exposure for the different areas independently.
  • It would help if you looking for an editing program. This is to join the shots in an image with the correct exposure.
  • Have memory cards with enough capacity and a hard disk to store scene shots.

Final thoughts:

With this post, you now know a little more about these photography techniques that will allow you to capture images of great quality and sharpness. But do not stay anymore with the theory. Put into practice these techniques to see the wonderful results you will get.

With the block of mirrors, you can minimize those small vibrations that can disturb the image’s sharpness. With this, you are going to divide the trigger action mechanism into two parts.

You may think that the bracketing technique is complicated, but it is not the case. With its mode of action is simple to take several shots of the same scene by varying parameters.

Exhibition bracketing is the most used. With this, you will have the option of having several shots to select. By practicing this technique, you are obtaining at least three shots of the same scene.

When making exposure bracketing, do not forget to use the tripod. This item will help you keep the frame. It also ensures that the objects to be captured in images are static.

With this bracketing technique, you can evaluate whether a photograph works or not. You will know this by varying parameters such as exposure, focus, flash, white balance, and ISO.

It is your turn to apply the bracketing technique to obtain the image with the correct parameters from several shots. You will get photos that will look spectacular and will be of great quality.

Once you become a master in photography, you can offer your services in social events and more. Make sure to practice every day with the environment to take the perfect picture.

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