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Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography Field Guide: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera Paperback – August 18, 2009


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Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography Field Guide: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera + Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera + Understanding Shutter Speed: Creative Action and Low-Light Photography Beyond 1/125 Second
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books; Original edition (August 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817432256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817432256
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BRYAN PETERSON is a professional photographer, an internationally known instructor, and the best-selling author of Understanding Exposure, Understanding Shutter Speed, Learning to See Creatively, Understanding Digital Photography, and Beyond Portraiture. In addition, he is the founder of the online photography school The Perfect Picture School of Photography (www.ppsop.com). He lives in Chicago.

More About the Author

Bryan Peterson is a professional photographer, internationally known instructor, and founder of www.PPSOP.com, The Perfect PIcture School of Photography. He is also the best-selling author of Understanding Exposure, Learning to See Creatively,Understanding Shutter Speed, Understanding Close-Up Photography, Understanding Digital Photography, Beyond Portraiture, and, most recently, Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography Field Guide. His easy-to-understand writing and teaching style breaks down the complex and often confusing aspects of photography, translating them into what his students routinely describe as "aha" moments. In addition, he has been a commercial photographer for over 30 years, shooting annual reports for many Fortune 500 companies, and his trademark use of color and strong, graphic composition have garnered him many photographic awards, including the New York Art Director's Gold Award and honors from Communication Arts and Print magazine. He currently splits his time between Chicago and France.

Customer Reviews

Written in an easy to understand style.
Wayne S.
The book is good for people that want to know all about what their camera can do.
Schaufele
Good information and tips to make great photos.
Ladybug

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

267 of 271 people found the following review helpful By Ryan E. Duncan on August 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have owned many photography books over the years and Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Photography Field Guide" will be the book I pack with me from here on out.

The book is organized into the 11 chapters detailed below and each chapter is organized into smaller sections which help you seek out the specific topics you want to review.

1) A Few Digital Basics - Chapter topics range from file format and shooting in RAW to a gem of a section on white balance that explained better in 2 pages how this setting can really improve my photos than anything else I have come across in the past.

2) Exposure - Topics in this chapter include exposure explanations, the photographic triangle, creative exposures, and more. Bryan is a master at de-mystifying exposure and you will improve your photography with this chapter.

3) Aperture - This chapter does much more than just explain the effects of proper aperture settings, Bryan teaches you how aperture helps you tell the story you intend to with the photo.

4) Shutter Speed & ISO - This chapter offered one of the best explanations of how ISO effects your photos I have found since being introduced to digital photography and I find the section on "motion in low light" to be very good. Bryan also explained the relationship between apeture and shutter speeds in an easy to understand and apply in the field format.

5) Learning To See - This chapter covers a lot of ground on lenses and selecting the right lens for the right shot. Advice sections such as "shooting up" and "looking down" are helpful if you are looking for new ways to shoot but the photos included throughout the book are the best way to get new ideas for framing your shots.
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123 of 126 people found the following review helpful By George Chang on August 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the title indicates, this is a great book covering a range of topics on photography. If you haven't read any of Peterson's books, this is 5 stars. However, if you have read his other books - particularly Understanding Exposure, Understanding Shutter Speed, chapters of this book are almost identical, though not as deep, as those books, and you'll probably be a little disappointed if you were looking for new material. Same pictures, examples, and information - which is why I am only giving this 4 stars. It really should be a "compilation of/best of" Peterson's photo books.

It is intended as a "field guide" and if you want something to carry around, this does cover most of the important topics and techniques - though it isn't exactly pocket-sized.
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122 of 131 people found the following review helpful By T. Keenan on January 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fine book. But before you plunk your money down, be aware of a few caveats.

First, the book is written by an experienced professional photographer for people who have digital SLR cameras. The author strongly emphasizes manual controls, interchangeable lenses, etc. My advanced digital compact camera doesn't have an f22 or even an f16 aperture setting, nor a depth of field preview button, nor a variety of lenses and filters.

Second, if your camera - whatever kind it is - doesn't have full manual controls (aperture, shutter speed, iso setting) much of the information won't apply to you. The book cover touts how to shoot "with any camera." But there are very few references to point-and-shoot cameras - even today's sophisticated models and much of the technical data and camera settings just don't translate.

Second, the author speaks exclusively to outdoor photography using existing light. If you want help for any inside photos of children's birthday parties, family dinners, or the kids basketball games, you won't find it here. And there is precious little reference to use of flash in any setting. Some advice even works against indoor photography - like the advice to set your white balance to "cloudy" and leave it there. Try that inside and everything turns out red.

Having voiced those concerns, this is still a wonderful book. The concepts and ideas do indeed apply to all photography and any type of camera. They just need some translation for less sophisticated equipment. Peterson is obviously a superb photograper with a passion for his craft honed over many years. He is also an engaging writer with a personal and easy style which makes the reading a pleasure.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Addict on August 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm just getting into DSLR photography and have taken several classes at a local community college. Bryan Peterson's books have been great learning tools for supplementing what I've learned in class. I've read his "Understanding Exposure" book cover to cover multiple times and had just started "Understanding Shutter Speed" when i saw this guide while on vacation. The guide covers a lot of the same (if not identical) content as his other books, but its portable size alone makes it worth buying, even if you have his other books. I really like his writing style, and he includes some really inspiring photographs that aren't too difficult for beginners to duplicate. While on vacation I've used his guide to (among other things) take photographs at dusk as well as experiment with shutter speeds. He lists some of his "must-have" accessories (e.g., neutral density filters) that I should have bought before vacation and fortunately was able to buy thanks to Amazon's affordable overnight Prime shipping.

And yes, it's been worth it to haul my tripod across the country! Get this guide--it's worth every penny.
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