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The Confused Photographer's Guide to Photographic Exposure and the Simplified Zone System Paperback – January 11, 2007


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The Confused Photographer's Guide to Photographic Exposure and the Simplified Zone System + The Confused Photographer's Guide to On-Camera Spotmetering (The Confused Photographer's Guide to . . . Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Confused Photographer's Guide Books.; 4th edition (January 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966081714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966081718
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"..to help teach light measurement without the students needing a math or science degree" -- Petersen's Photographic Magazine

"..written for the photographer who is interested in the understanding of light" -- Today's Photographer Magazine

"One of the easiest-to-understand books on exposure and the Zone System that we've ever seen" -- Outdoor Photographer Magazine

From the Author

The reality of life is that there is not a single metering system in the world that can give you a correctly exposed image for a given subject every time. If you do not believe this, set your expensive Digital Camera to its most advanced exposure mode and take pictures of a black surface and a white surface. When you look at the resulting Digital Image, negative, or slide you will be disappointed. Cameras of today, very much like the cameras of fifty years ago, are incapable of recognizing and recording extreme tones such as a black and a white surface. What you are going to get from this crude experiment is a medium gray image tone. To add insult to injury, you will have absolutely no clue which one of these resulting images is for the original black or white subjects. As this experiment demonstrates, there is not a single metering system that, without your help and intervention, can capture what your eye sees and what your mind wants to capture. Of all metering systems available to the photographer, the Zone System of exposure with the help of your on-camera or off-camera spot meter is the only one can give a consistent and predictable reading to the photographer EVERY TIME! Once equipped with this knowledge, the photographer can use his or her skill to determine the correct exposure for a desired subject. The major difference between a skilled photographer and an unskilled one is that the latter never questions the camera's readings. The skilled photographer has the knowledge to interpret the spot meter's reading according to the subject tone, and to capture desired image or capture it as the eye sees or desires it. The Confused Photographer's Guide to Photographic Exposure and the Simplified Zone System is the first book ever published that deals with the new millennium's Digital Cameras (5-stop Zone System). Unlike other reflective metering systems (including average, center-weighted, and matrix, and others), in which the unskilled photographer is at the mercy of the camera's vision (?), with the applications of spot metering and the Zone System of interpretation, the skilled photographer is in control of the tones as well as the details in the final image. The book uses color slides or Digital Film as a training tool to get the point across.

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Customer Reviews

Book provides a lot of details in a very easy to understand format.
K. D. S. Karunaratne
You may want to see it this way: it's no more complicated than learning what you must know in order to take a really good picture.
Rafa Azofeifa
I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in improving the quality of their photographs.
Dhritiman Banerjee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Tony Hall on July 2, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This guy isn't just trying to sell books or prove how talented he is. You can tell that the author is a teacher and has lots of experience helping people learn about exposure.
If you're a somewhat experienced photographer, you might find your eyes crossing for the first couple of chapters because of how boring and repetitious they are. The author doesn't want to leave anyone behind, so it's kind of a slow paced book. However, if you can make it through those chapters and read the whole book you will find yourself completely understanding photographic exposure. I've been taking pictures for years with some nice cameras and this is the first time I've ever felt comfortable and confident about the pictures I was taking.
Another thing that's awesome about this book is that it is perfect for digital camera users. Let me say this:
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK IF YOU USE A DIGITAL CAMERA. OTHER BOOKS LIKE "THE NEGATIVE" WHILE INFORMATIVE WILL JUST LEAVE YOU CONFUSED WHEN IT COMES TO SHOOTING DIGITAL.
As far as I know this is the only book on photographic exposure that's very well suited for digital photography.
Another thing that I really like about this book is that the author is a teacher and has a lot of experience teaching the subject matter to his students. He probably knows from teaching what people find confusing and how to best explain it to them. You'll be reading along and something may seem a little confusing. Well, before you have a chance to rack your brain about it, the author addresses it and puts it into laymen's terms. Sometimes he explains the same concept two or three different ways.
One last comment on the book.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Rafa Azofeifa on June 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the reveiws here, and I was a little worried about the ones that say this book is confusing.

If you're looking for a simple cook-book that tells you how to use aperture to blur the background and that 'composition is very important' so yes, this is not the book you're looking for.

BUT, if you are looking for a book to help you take good pictures, this is a must have.

First understand what you're looking for:

If you bought your digital camera and want to take better pictures and you don't know about aperture or exposure or you feel more confortable using it in "Auto mode", you should buy "Understanding Exposure", really good book.

If you want to really understand how to take better pictures, you're willing to make excercises, and go over 200 pages without looking at a color photograph of a sunset or an old man, this is a VERY good book.

Everyone wants to be an astronaut and see the earth from space, but nobody wants to study mathematics and physics.

If you want better pictures, there's a thousand books out there, some of them very good.

But if you really want to study photography and achieve the best pictures, and really take the time to do it, begin by buying this book, it's not complicated. You may want to see it this way: it's no more complicated than learning what you must know in order to take a really good picture.

My advice is: First read then buy. If you understand you're not buying a book of 100 colorfull sunsets and girls with soap bubbles, you'll learn a lot. If you don't, please don't post a message saying the book is confusing.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By S. L. Matteson on August 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you rely on the camera to find the exposure for you, or you tend to use the automatic modes, or if you have a feeling there's something the photographers you admire do that you're not doing... you NEED read Mr. Farzad's books!

I started off trying to figure out what it was that the photographers I admire were doing that I was missing, and discovered his website. Immediately, I knew that here was an example of a photographer whose work I really admired.

When the box of books arrived, I was surprised how heavy it was. I kind of expected the books to be of a lot less substance than they were. These aren't booklets, as has been the case when I bought some "books" on photography in the past. These are full sized and well made books, and they are full of exactly the information you need to figure out how to expose pretty much anything correctly.

When I first learned what the technique was and began to understand it, I must say it was a little scary to disregard the camera's reccomendations. Then, after a bit of experimentation, I started realizing that I actually could get the same sort of gorgeous exposures that Mr. Farzad was getting. Now, I feel confident that I can expose correctly for pretty much anything. I almost never use the exposures recommended by the camera, and I almost never use automatic modes anymore. I'm also getting some very positive comments since I started applying these techniques. And after a little practice, I know exactly what adjustments to make simply at a glance at the subject!

Mr. Farzad is very obviously a teacher. The books do not assume you know anything about the subject, so they begin at the beginning.
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