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Exposure Photo Workshop [Paperback]

Jeff Wignall
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 9, 2011 1118024540 978-1118024546 2
New and updated techniques for working with exposure

Exposure involves a variety of skills, but once mastered, can turn a hobbyist into a bona fide photographer. This hands-on resource dissects the components of exposure?ISO, aperture, shutter speed?and shows how they work together to capture the photographer?s vision. You?ll learn how to leave the safety of automatic settings and understand how controlling the settings can result in beautiful photos. Stunning photos of people, wildlife, and landscapes serve to inspire you to practice your new skills in exposure and create memorable and frame-worthy photos.

  • Unveils the many intricate levels of exposure and clearly explains how to master each one so that you can capture amazing photos
  • Encourages you to apply each of the techniques you learn with patience and experimentation when photographing people, wildlife, landscapes, or any other subject matter
  • Details the essentials for taking frame-worthy photos in a variety of challenges, such as action, night scenes, low light, bad weather, and more
  • Features updated, stunning, and inspiring full-color photos throughout

Exposure yourself to the fantastic and unparalleled advice contained within the pages of Exposure Photo Workshop, Second Edition!

From the Author: Top Five Exposure Tips

Author Jeff Wignall
1. Avoid extreme contrast. Try to work early or late in the day, or on slightly overcast days to avoid contrast problems from harsh daylight. Digital-camera sensors can only record a limited contrast range and the gentler the light is, the more accurate your exposures will be. If possible, you can also move your subject to an area of open shade.

2. Shoot in RAW format. Use the RAW format if your camera offers that option. In the RAW format you can alter both exposure and color temperature (white balance) during the editing process. This means you can be off by a few stops in exposure and still correct the exposure in the original file. You can also fine-tune the white balance of the original file. RAW requires a few more steps in editing, but the effort is well rewarded.

3. Meter a middle-tone subject. Try to select a middle tone when you're metering and you'll get much more accurate exposures. Subjects that offer a natural middle town include green grass or foliage, clear blue skies and weathered barn wood. You can also carry an 18% gray card (available at photo stores) and meter from that: just place the card in the same light as your subject, meter it and then use that exposure setting.

4. Use fill-in flash for outdoor portraits. Portraits shot in bright daylight often have distracting shadows under the nose or below eyebrows. By turning on your built-in flash in daylight you can light open those shadows and still keep a natural-light look. Read your manual for tips on using fill-in flash.

5. Use a tripod. Using a tripod enables you to use the full range or reciprocal aperture and shutter-speed combinations. Yes, image-stabilization systems will help keep the camera steady with moderately slower shutter speeds, but won’t help much if you want to make a ten-second exposure of a waterfall or a twilight skyline. Placing your camera on a tripod also slows you down and gives you more time to consider exposure options.

From the Author: Example Photos

Shot with a 300mm Nikkor lens.
Exposed at ISO 200 at 1/160 second at f/5.6.
Recorded in RAW format & Jpeg simultaneously.
(Click on image to zoom)
Shot with a 70-300mm Nikkor zoom.
Exposed at ISO 200 at 1/640 second at f/7.1.
RAW format.
(Click on image for larger version)
Shot with a 70-300mm Nikkor zoom.
Exposed at ISO 200 at 1/800 second at f/7.1.
RAW format.
(Click on image to zoom)

Frequently Bought Together

Exposure Photo Workshop + Night and Low-Light Photography Photo Workshop
Price for both: $42.61

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Editorial Reviews


'Use it as a reference manual or work your way through it step by step-either way it will improve your photography'. (Black & White Photography, December 2011)

From the Back Cover

Master exposure and enhance your professionalism

Since the first edition of this book, camera technology has seen dramatic improvements. Light, however, hasn't changed—nor has the importance of just the right exposure. Master photographer Jeff Wignall, assisted by a stunning sampler of images, shows you exactly how to visualize an effect, truly see the light, and work with your camera's sophisticated controls to capture the perfect photo. Learn these techniques and watch your images develop a new dimension.

  • Understand what makes good exposure and how it creates a mood

  • Learn to adjust ISO, aperture, and shutter speed in various combinations for different results

  • Work with natural light at different times of day

  • Venture into night photography and experiment with creative effects

  • Explore the wide variety of flash techniques

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118024540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118024546
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #672,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


I am a photographer and writer and the author of many photography books and I'm lucky enough to have more than a million books in print. Probably the best known of the books I've written are the Joy of Photography and the Joy of Digital Photography. There is little that I love more than to travel and take pictures and I love to teach photography through my books. My father was a photographer and so I grew up in a house filled with cameras and books filled with great photography--it probably would have been difficult to not become a photographer. I credit my grammar school teachers with teaching me how to write a clear sentence and my high school typing teacher with giving me one of the greatest skills a writer can have: fast fingers. I live in Connecticut and, in winter, often work in a basement laboratory trying to find a solution to Global Colding.

My web page: http://www.jeffwignall.com
Photo tips blog: http://www.phototipoftheday.blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally useful book April 19, 2008
I've read many books on photography, but i must say this is the one book that explains exposure extremely well. The writing is very accessible and all the explanations are illustrated with actual photos. Photos in the book not only include the perfunctory exposure data, but the author uses the caption to reiterate what he explains in the book. Furthermore, I like how the author includes not only photos that came out well for him, but he also includes ones that didn't come out well and explains what he would have done deferent.

Even though I've been a professional photography for a little over three years, I'm constantly learning and deepening my understanding of the craft. This book will be one that I come back to again and again. I just might get another copy and re-read it again next year.

All I can say is that if you're really wanting to understand how to work with various lighting conditions in relationship to aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance controls, and flash, this book will help you. Assignments are included at the end of each chapter, and each page includes space to jot notes. Though technical language is used, the author does a good job of breaking down complicated terms.

I can't recommend this book enough for serious amateurs and emerging professional photographers.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First impressions March 15, 2008
By Hondo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a great book! Accessible and useful for beginning photographers or those who want to go beyond the programmed modes and take control of their photographs. Profusely illustrated with all sorts of great photos that are (mostly) the sort that anyone can take, not the type that most people will only sigh at because they cannot travel to exotic places and spend a fortune on equipment. All manner of useful tips and diagrams are here. For example: for those confused about aperture and what it means the author provides not just the numbers but scale diagrams making it clear what they represent physically-- a very nice touch. Just about everything I could think of made it into the book. Easily a 5-star recommendation. This is my 3rd book on exposure and I think this one is the best. I'll update this with a detailed review when I'm finished.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book!!! March 24, 2008
By Ted
After just having bought the Nikon D300 (after a life using point-and-shoot cameras), I wanted a good overview and introduction into exposure. Wow, did this book deliver! I finished the entire book in a few days and bookmarked the parts I want to return to. Everything about the book from the organization, the pictures and examples is a testament to the author's knowledge and to his ability to teach! I can only hope the other books in the series are as good as this one!!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A difficult subject...beautifully explained! December 11, 2008
"Exposure Photo Workshop" is a WONDERFUL reference book to have available when you're determining how to handle any shooting situation. Exposure settings have always been hit and miss with me. Sometimes I will take the easy route of shooting in the Automatic mode, but it's more satisfying to be able to have more creative control over the results - and actually know what you're doing!

This book has numerous color photos with an explanation of the approach used leading up to each. The description of the final settings used accompanies each photo, i.e. - lens, shutter speed, f-stop, ISO and whether handheld or tripod. I found myself looking at each photo and trying to guess the settings used before I actually read them. I learned a lot from this and improved in my guessing as I progressed through the book!

In keeping with the "workshop" portion of the title, "Assignments" are located throughout this book to give you practice on what you've read. There is also a website you can access to share your photos with others and share comments.

It's safe to say I will be revisiting this book quite often.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Successful Last Resort September 9, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm long past due for the review of this book, especially considering that it's responsible for my continuing interest in photography. Had I not stumbled upon Jeff Wignall's book, I would have given up for the last time.

I studied film, slr's, web sites, photography forums and the most "popular" authors, and came to the conclusion that I must be too dense to ever be more than a point and shoot snapshot guy. Then as a last resort, I noticed a review of this book that seemed to indicate that this might help.

A few days later, and 4 chapters in, I could duplicate/imitate any shot in this book with a Panasonic FZ28 with no problem. Suddenly, everything made sense. Now I know what "they" are talking about. It may well be that Wignall's approach is much better suited to the point and shoot, and easier to relate to, but it has to apply better to a dslr also. Simple, straightforward, no trips to foreign lands and exotic locations. Just go into your backyard or down the dirt road, frame the subject, adjust exposure, set white balance and shoot. Like learning to ride a bicycle for the first time. Pedal, balance and steer. He'll give you a push, you can do it.

It's hard to explain or believe the difference this book has made in my photos and my understanding of how to take them, but without a doubt, Jeff Wignall and the Exposure Photo Workshop are responsible. If you "want" to learn, you "will". I finally did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nice book
Published 9 days ago by Peythone
5.0 out of 5 stars Another of a unique series
Wiley's Photo Workshop series has earned shelf space in my library. The titles are all succinct and descriptive. Exposure; it says EVERYTHING, to quote James L Jackson. Read more
Published 15 days ago by SeniorGeek
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for exposure
Great book to learn more about exposure, explaining in terms that you can easily understand & use to increase your photography skills. Definitely recommend to others.
Published 4 months ago by Erynn Bauer
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Exposure learning tool ever.
I have read a number of books and publications on exposure topics and this is the bible. My photography has leaped ahead. Read edition 1 twice and 2nd ed twice as well. Read more
Published 9 months ago by rob goldman
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the book you where looking for!
Great book and worth twice it's cost. Want to learn exposure in a fun way? Just click buy now an you will not regret it!
Published 13 months ago by charles
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for newbies!
I got this book because I was curious on how this writer would explain exposure. Again speaking for myself, the book was good for me. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Leni
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
It is above and beyond what I expected; detailed and well written. I would highly recommend this book for all photographers.
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Newer, 2011 edition available
Bought this and then returned it when I realized 2011 edition is available on Amazon. It showed me this one first due to higher ratings (or whatever). Read more
Published 18 months ago by typo_kign
5.0 out of 5 stars The new basic photography book for the digital age
What a great book. Just getting into slightly more serious digital photography and was looking for a good primer. I've definitely found that in this book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by typo_kign
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special
This book wasn't anything special. I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know, before. Plus, it was a fairly boring read.
Published 18 months ago by Mary Contrary
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