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Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition [Kindle Edition]

Bryan Peterson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (698 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $25.99
Kindle Price: $13.95
You Save: $12.04 (46%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Kindle Edition $13.95  
Paperback $14.68  
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Book Description

With more than 350,000 copies sold, Understanding Exposure has demystified the complex concepts of exposure for countless photographers. Now updated with current technologies, more than one hundred new images, and an all-new chapter, this new edition will inspire you more than ever to free yourself from “auto” and create the pictures you truly want.

In his trademark easy-to-understand style, author Bryan Peterson explains the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, including how to achieve successful exposures in seemingly difficult situations. You’ll learn:

• Which aperture gives you the greatest contrast and sharpness, and when to use it 
• Which apertures guarantee the background remains an out-of-focus tone 
• Which one aperture—when combined with the right lens—creates an area of sharpness from three feet to infinity 
• How to creatively use shutter speed to either freeze an action or imply motion 
• Where to take a meter reading when shooting a sunset, snow, or a city at dusk


With new information on white balance, flash, HDR, and more, this updated classic will inspire you to stop guessing and take control of your settings for better photos anytime, anywhere, and with any camera.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BRYAN PETERSON is a professional photographer, internationally known instructor, and the bestselling author of Understanding Shutter Speed, Understanding Close-Up Photography, Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Photography Field Guide, 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 ( He lives in Chicago.

Product Details

  • File Size: 33296 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books; 3rd edition (December 21, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FEFS5E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,809 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
279 of 286 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings the subject of exposure to light. August 11, 2010
Understanding exposure third edition. Although it could be called understanding your camera

This is a fairly complete overhaul of the second edition. It covers all of the things covered in the second edition and additionally Author Bryan Peterson covers HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.

One of the sections I enjoyed the most is Peterson's photographic triangle. aperture, shutter speed and iso. All three are of equal importance in the photo tough I sometimes forget about the effects of different iso's so this section brought that to life for me. Some of the other subjects that were interesting to me was his explanation of white balance and how it's over rated "It's my opinion that, next to the histogram, the white balance is one of the most overrated controls on the digital camera". Another section I liked was one entitled "The sky brothers" Here Peterson talks about difficult light and contracts situations that meters have difficulty with. Peterson moves the light meeter to one area or another to get a reading that's not so effected by bad light or contrast including the always difficult photos of snow.

Peterson also covers in detail all of the camera settings and discussed the advantages of one setting over another, aperture priority versus shutter priority etc. One of the things he covers in detail is the usage of automatic settings and how they can hinder photographic creativity. Including Exposure Peterson covers all aspects of photography, lighting, DOF, sports settings, portrait settings, landscape, night and low light photography. Paterson does a great job of describing who each of the settings work together and effect each other.
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181 of 191 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST photography book I've EVER read!!! October 13, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This third edition of "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson is brilliant! In the first 30 pages, I've gotten more information on how to use my camera settings to take creative photographs than the dozens of books I've read, or all the courses and seminars I've taken. And all for less than $20!

Some reviews have suggested that this book is only for the very basic beginner. I beg to differ. I have been counseled by and shadowed many professionals who've been in the industry a number of years, (never mind all the money spent on books, videos, seminars, clinics and courses). After spending any time with the pros, I was always certain that the only way to get the best photos was to get a bigger bank account to be able to purchase the best, most up-to-date gadgets, special lights, expensive strobes (in multiples), and super expensive/fancy lenses. Oh... let's not forget the assistants that you'll also have to hire to hold some of the gadgets. And yet, most of their photos looked so homogenized and truly a product of all the photographic "stuff" rather than the camera. I kept thinking that maybe I was just not getting it. I was almost convinced that obviously, all the creative photos are just good quality, basic photos which have been processed, and re-processed in one or more editing software programs such as Photoshop (another one of the "must have" gadgets). NO!! Bryan Peterson explains how to really use the camera to get that creative shot. After all, capturing a photo, is really nothing more than capturing and manipulating light.
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118 of 137 people found the following review helpful
By kceezie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was awesome...I believe the author took the criticism of his other books and updated the book based on them...When researching to buy this book I looked at the reviews of the other editions and some of the comments were "I wish he would put what type of lens he uses or exposure he used in the photos." Well, he does that in this edition. Another person said that they wished he would put photos to show what he means and he puts two photos (sometimes 3) of first the auto or what beginning photographers would do and then show an example of the same picture with the exposure changed based on what he is trying to teach you (did that make any sense?!?). How about a before and after type of photos (maybe that makes more sense). His style of writing is not textbook style. I think he tries to make it fun and entertaining and that sometimes makes people think he is condescending to the reader, but I don't think that is his intention and I enjoy that sense I'm definitely not trying to read textbook style reading (I did enough of that in college).
I say this is for beginning photographers and not for intermediate or professional because I believe he is very brief and dumbs down what he is trying to teach to relate to those of us who know absolutely nothing about cameras or the intricate of how cameras work. He will use things like "The Sky Brothers" or "Mr. Green Jeans," which will feel like kid stuff for a pro or semi-pro person, but for me the beginner a welcomed help. After reading this book I feel like I can go out and take photos on manual and not be intimidated about getting the wrong exposure.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars it's an excellent book and it won't be the last time I ...
Being an amateur self educated photographer I knew most of the concepts, but Bryan Peterson made me realize how to employ my camera to use it in ways I haven't, it's an excellent... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Esteban Roman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Newbies
Great resource, especially for newbie photographers.
He makes things very clear and uses illustrations to help you remember. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Betty Wheeler
5.0 out of 5 stars new photographer
I've read it three times at various stages of my understanding of manual exposure and has been immensely helpful. A great book for beginners.
Published 8 days ago by Justin Pitcock
5.0 out of 5 stars Boost your photography up a notch
I bought this book thinking myself as an "intermediate" photographer, and a lot of the technical stuff was review : the exposure triangle, for instance. Read more
Published 10 days ago by SamTheFish
5.0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend this book
An outstanding book for someone wanting to learn more about exposure. It isn't geared toward the professional but is really informative for the novice. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Tommy J. Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very imformative.
Published 14 days ago by Carol Francis
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good starter book
Published 17 days ago by srinivas ajay tadepalli
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must read" for new photographers (or anyone who wants to understand...
I recently upgraded to a DSLR (Nikon D7100) and made the commitment to improve my photography skills. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Valerie Denison
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book for the amature and professional alike
Taught me in a clear and concise manner, not overpowering. A very good book for the amature and professional alike.
Published 20 days ago by Gary N Helfrich
5.0 out of 5 stars ... for anyone trying to learn how to take the best photos with their...
This photography book is the corner stone for anyone trying to learn how to take the best photos with their digital camera. Read more
Published 21 days ago by William A. Emmett
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More About the Author

Bryan Peterson is a professional photographer, internationally known instructor, and founder of, 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.

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Kindle vs. hardcopy version of "Understanding Exposure"
May 18, 2011 by merf |  See all 2 posts
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