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Perfect Exposure (Jim Zuckerman's Secrets to Great Photographs) Paperback – November 30, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Jim Zuckerman's Secrets to Great Photographs
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Writers Digest Books; 1 edition (November 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582971269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582971261
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,117,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Zuckerman is the author of Secrets of Great Digital Effects published by David & Charles, Secrets to Colour Photography, Techniques of Natural Light Photography, and The Professional Photographer's Guide to Shooting and Selling Nature and Wildlife Photos. He is a contributing editor to Peterson's Photographic Magazine, and his images, articles, and photo features have been published in numerous book and magazines. Jim lives in Northridge, California. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It's just I did not get any feel for the 'secrets' after reading cover to cover.
kids_first
WOW I use to have doubts on my exposure in photography, I bought the book, have read it 3 times in one week, now it is a reference book to check if required.
Stan Kwasniowski
After all, it's not just all about exposures, but it sure would help if you moved in the right direction to getting it right!
Elle L

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 140 people found the following review helpful By L. Sidhu on May 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book with some of the most beautiful photography imaginable. Zuckerman is clearly a master photographer and the books meets its goal of teaching photographers how to achieve "perfect exposure."

For each chapter, there is an introductory text that is brief and concise and most of the teaching is actually done through the caption text of numerous gorgeous photographs. Zuckerman guides one through the obligatory discourse on the weaknesses of automatic metering and then into various situations that a photographer may find him or herself.

Throughout the book, Zuckerman discusses his approach to obtaining exposure. And, there in lies the major weakness of the book - the approach is his. Although a very sound and effective approach, Zuckerman's "secret" is the reliance of a handheld meter. In the end, the book can become little more than a repetition of the idea that if you use a handheld meter, you can obtain good exposure.

This is in sharp contrast to Bryan Peterson's "Understand Exposure" which actually teaches the reader the principles of exposure and how to use those principles to obtain good exposure REGARDLESS of the equipment being used.

This book, however, has two saving graces: 1) the photography is amazing and does give great examples on how to deal with various exposure situations, and 2) the chapter on finding medium grey in various situations. The first provides the inspiration and the second provides information that is rare to find in books on exposure.

Overall a decent book that one would not regret purchasing; however, I would recommend purchasing it along with Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" rather than as a stand alone text on exposure.
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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By - on June 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Zuckerman, an educated master photographer, takes an unassuming, non-technical, pragmatic approach to show readers how to achieve the perfect photographic exposure on film in capturing an image. As such, this book is aimed primarily at film-camera audience although the same principle applies equally to digital camera. There is no discussion on the topic of print development exposure and all brilliant and superb colour outdoor nature and travel photographs used as illustrations were captured with his favorite medium-format SLR camera, a Mamiya RZ 67-II (you can check this out at [...] Exposure with studio lighting is not covered in this book.

Having explained how and when a built-in TTL (through-the-Lens) reflected light meter (by definition) in an SLR camera may fail, Zuckerman jumps straight to the important concept of a "middle tone" (mid-tone or medium gray or 18% gray) upon which such TTL light meters, and for that matter, all light meters, is based in obtaining a "normal" exposure, as opposed to a "correct" or what the author terms as "perfect" exposure. This is definitely not a unique approach of Zuckerman, as some may imagine. It is just common sense exposure based on how the meter works when factory-set once you understand how the 18% gray relates to exposure measurement. This is followed by a judicious survey of the classic situations in which one finds difficulty in obtaining such as a correct exposure. If at all, there is a single rule-of-thumb, Zuckerman makes it clear that if you choose to meter exposure based on a "mid-tone" of a colour, everything else will fall into place (and that's Zuckerman's secret!). This is the Holy Grail one should seek as far as exposure is concerned! Getting to this even when there is little or no mid-tone is the topic of chapter 3.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By kids_first on August 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
All the pictures in this book are stunning, beautiful, and have perfect exposures. My issue with this book is that the author stresses that, in order to get a perfect exposure, one would need to find either a middle tone with a TTL spot meter, or use an incident meter to get a correct reading of the light source. Unfortunately, not all scenes have a middle tone, nor do all photographers have or need an incident meter.
One example in the book, on page 61, is a classic snow scene. There is no middle tone to be found in the picture, so the author uses an incident meter. Why can't the author simply aim the built-in TTL meter at the snow, and add 2 1/2 stops to get the snow to be pure white? In another set of pictures in pages 44 and 45, the author took exposures according to both the incident meter and the TTL meter, becuase the 2 readings did not agree. Well, can't one just trust one meter and bracket the shots?
Quite a few of these so called "exposure" books fall short on being flexible, straightfoward, and comprehensible. Hence the "secrets" the authors tried to convey still remain secrets to me.
4 pages (pages 24 to 27) in John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide totally unlock the secrets of exposure. Mr. Shaw's 5-stop tonality chart, which is somewhat based on the Zone system, allows one to use any tone for a correct exposure with the built-in TTL spot meter. This practical knowledge, with enough practice, give us photographers confidence in our cameras and our own ability to metering, and frees us from carrying an extra incident meter to a snowy mountain or other no-middle-tone places.
Again, the pictures are truely awesome and inspiring. It's just I did not get any feel for the 'secrets' after reading cover to cover.
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