Today’s Question: Is it possible to combine bracketing and a panorama? If so what is the process?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, indeed! You can use automatic (or manual) exposure bracketing for each frame of your composite panorama. Then, when assembling the composite panorama you can either choose which set of exposures to assemble into the final image, or create a high dynamic range (HDR) panorama by assembling the bracketed shots and then creating the final panorama.
More Detail: The specific approach you use for bracketing the individual exposures will vary based on the dynamic range of the scene you’re photographing, your intent for the final image, the capabilities of your camera, and other factors. In general, however, I recommend using the automatic exposure bracketing (AEB) feature of your camera to capture multiple exposures at different exposure settings for each frame of the composite panorama.
So, for example, you might start with the left-most frame in your intended composite panorama, capturing perhaps three bracketed exposures for that frame. For an HDR image I generally bracket by two-stop increments, but you can use one-stop increments if you prefer. Once you’ve captured the set of exposures for the first frame, rotate the camera to the next frame, overlapping by about 20% or so (more for focal lengths below about 100mm). Capture all of the frames of the panorama, using the same exposure bracketing for each.
When you are ready to assemble the final image, if you will create an HDR result, I recommend assembling each of the individual frames as an HDR image, and then assembling all of the HDR frames into the final panorama. Obviously the specifics of the approach here will depend upon the software you prefer to use for both HDR assembly and panorama assembly. The key is to use the exact same settings for the HDR tone-mapping, so that all of the HDR frames in your panorama will blend together seamlessly.