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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2015
I truly cannot understand why this book is so highly rated and praised by so many people, even professionals. If you are just starting with photography and want to know a bit more about exposure and taking pictures as a whole I must admit this book could be of interest. For these group of people I could rate this book with 2 stars.

If you, however, have even a bit more experience I know that there is much better material to be found on this subject. Really disappointing in the end as this book is hyped by so many people as the best thing since sliced bread. For this group (more experienced people) I rate this book with one star (and being very generous...).

1) Pro’s:
- The author has some interesting information and tips regarding exposure

- There are some nice tips about photography in general

2) Con’s:
- The book only covers the absolute basics of exposure. Don't expect any technical insights how exposure works. It is in no way the hyped Graal of Exposure I had expected after reading other reviews

- As the author has his roots in analog photography specific subjects regarding digital photography (e.g. white balance, noise, et cetera) do not get the attention they really deserve

- The way and tone ("rinkadink") the author deals with flash photography in this book is such a long way from the excellent book 'Speedliter's Handbook' from Syl Arena that I can't help but cry...

- The way the author writes was not very interesting or stimulating

- you will either like or dislike the way the author elaborates on his personal life. I didn’t like it. The remarks about how much money a particular picture made him, only takes up space in the book and doesn’t tell me anything about exposure

- A lot of pictures in this book are not what one would - or could - expect from a professional photographer. Perhaps the exposure is correct, but what's on the picures don't rock my boat at all. I mean, the photo of the tree on page 106 en 107…Come on!

My advice: if you want some really good information about exposure pass on this book, but buy the book 'Digital Photography Exposure For Dummies'. I recently did and I would recommend that book over 'Understandig Exposure' at any time. The Dummies-book blows this book out of the water and turns out to be the book I thought 'Understanding Exposure' was.
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53 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2011
Highly incoherent. I am on to page 52 or so, and I just hate how cocky the author's style is. There is too much ambiguity and invention of new terms which do not exist and confuse you more. Lots of text, just written like a disorganized story which does not connect.

'Depth of field' is made even more nebulous with no reasonable explanation. 'Open aperture implies light scatter on sensor/film' is totally weird to me. Light scatter to me would mean, focusing is going bad. Concepts are principles should not be modified and distorted (or skipped/hidden) in an attempt to explain them to a beginner, that's just unacceptable.

F/8 and F/11 are told to be "Don't care" apertures. You must be joking Mr. Peterson!? (please make a not whenever you crack a joke in your book)

Some really crappy snapshot pictures along side some terrific pictures (most of which come later), makes you wonder if the author is even paying attention to the quality of photographs in a book on photography (I am not talking about quality, just terrible composition in some).

EXCERPTS if you care to go over.....

Understanding Exposure has critical errors, off-the-mark analogies and sometimes nonsense.

"What exactly influences depth of field? Several factors come into play: the focal length of the lens, the distance between you and the subject you want to focus on, and the aperture you select. I feel strongly that of these three elements, aperture IS the most important." Peterson has strong feelings -- that's nice, but they are wrong.

"The depth of field in close-up photography extends one-fourth In front of and one-half beyond the focused subject, while in regular photography the depth of field is distributed one-third In front of and two-thirds beyond the subject." One fourth + one half = three fourths. This is complete nonsense. In fact as you focus closer the distribution of DOF tends to even out; he's claiming the opposite, and his statement that in regular photography the distribution of DOF is one third/two thirds is just wrong.

"During the spring, the clarity of the light in the countryside results in delicate hues and tones for buds on plants and trees. This same clear light enhances the stark beauty of the autumn landscape." Spring and autumn light have "clarity" that the light of summer and winter lacks?!! Mr. Peterson, your glasses might be foggy, clean them with a microfiber cloth.

Right in the beginning!

Also, Av, Tv, and P modes are crap right? But you are telling your readers to rely on the same equipment's metering system BUT use Manual mode. Now the 'correct exposure' that the camera shows is coming from the same metering system, which would feed data to Av and Tv modes. IF you disbelieve in technology, you would never use camera's metering system at all. It does not work better in one mode vs. the other. TL;DR The author contradicts some statements as the book progresses.

No classic photography book tells you to take closeup shots with a wide angle lens, that's just totally bizarre to me, due to distortions, and yet Mr. Peterson recommends if you don't go that route you are missing a world of opportunities. Mind you, this has nothing to do with exposure.

Good job making the book obscure enough (trying to make it simple?), so you SELL one on Exposure, one on Flash photography, another on Portrait photography and perhaps many more.

It beats me how many positive reviews are there for this book, I seriously want my money back. Can anyone help me, I am out of my 30 day period, as I thought I would never have to return this. Its messing up my mindset already. :)
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38 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2011
The author of this book has a very particular style that I noticed in some other do-it-yourself American books. This book is written in a very informal language and is filled with anecdotes, metaphors, and other techniques that are supposed to help you understand exposure.

However, presenting pre-digested information in this way assumes that the reader does not have big aspirations and their understanding capabilities are low. If you like this spoon-feeding style, then you may like this book. I did not. I found it very annoying that whenever I was hoping to get some genuine and technical information, I got a pre-digested inaccurate metaphor. For instance, the author explains the ISO feature by comparing it to worker bees: ISO 100 = 100 working bees that carry light, ISO 200 = 200 bees and more light. To me this information explains nothing, it only provides a silly rule of thumb; that is not enough to understand photography. I believe that to reach a good understanding of photography you need to go beyond such simplistic heuristics and get to know a bit more of the technical side and receive in-depth explanations.

If you really want to gain an understanding of your digital camera and correct exposure, this book is not the best choice.

A wonderful series of books written in a compelling and professional, yet accessible to a beginner, way is by Harold Davis.
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22 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2012
Great book? Yes! Helpful information for those new to photography. However, I rated this book with only one star because it is basically the same word for word information and, at times, photo examples, as another one of his books, Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography Field Guide. Should have been on my toes before making this purchase! If you already own a book by this author, compare the table of contents of both books. Might save yourself from wasting your money and buying something you already own. Don't let the different titles fool you, as they did me.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2015
This was the worst book. A complete waste of money. Its so hard to read, too technical with a small font. Its just awful.
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4 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2012
understanding exposure - bryan peterson
this book is very poorly designed. the 2 page photos are only there to take up space. by extending the photos to 2 pages the reader loses interest in the subject matter. the macro,
close up photos, are uniteresting to the point of being totally boring. however you would think that a photographer with such high credentials as the book editor claims would place some interesting photos in the book.
i would rate the photos at a very amature level and not of much interest.
there is some good information in the book, but not much.
it is very difficult to maintain your attention on such a poorly deigned book with less than amature photos. i have owned this book for 4 months and am still not half way tru it. when trying to read it i try not to look at the photos, however it is unavoidable.
i would not purchase this book had i previewed it before i purchased it.
my best recommendation is to read your owners manual.Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
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0 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2014
It's excellent.
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7 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2011
This book was not what I expected. I am an amateur photographer and was looking for a book that covered the basic of SLR photography. I could not follow along with this book. Needless to say, I returned the book after previewing it.
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