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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Exposure Primer for Creative Photographers, November 29, 2005
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This review is from: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition) (Paperback)
This is a book that every serious photographer should own--both for information and inspiration. I've had a copy of the original version of this book (1990) in my office since it was first published and it's worn to a frazzle. That's why I'm so thrilled that it has not only stayed in print this long, but also that Peterson has updated it.

The first thing you'll notice when you read through this book is that Bryan Peterson is not just good at explaining the intricacies of good exposure in almost every conceivable situation (landscapes, close ups, portraits), but he is a world-class photographer. It's one thing to talk about manipulating depth of field or subject motion in theoretical terms, it's quite another to see the concepts demonstrated in masterful, creative and fun photographs. Bryan's photographs are fun, surprising and supremely well done. And the photos are so well chosen and so well done that even if the book was written in a language I didn't understand, I would get the points being made. His editors should be proud of that too. I also a professional photographer and author of many photo books including The NEW Joy of Digital Photography and I often look to Bryan's fine photos for their inspiration.

Getting good exposure is at the heart of making a good photograph. And you would think that with the auto-exposure systems built into both film and digital cameras that getting a good exposure would be a piece of cake. But as Peterson points out (and illustrates so nicely) there is a world of difference between getting a "good" exposure and getting the ideal "creative" exposure. Getting the ideal creative exposure requires careful consideration of how that exposure will affect things like depth of field, freezing or exaggerating motion, the color and quality of light and how your subject is presented.

This book is not just about exposure, of course, but is a great source of information on various types of lighting, close-up photography, portraits, night photography, using a tripod and, most importantly, seeing creatively.

I can't imagine making a serious study of photography and not having this book (and Peterson's classic book on "Seeing Creatively") nearby. Peterson is a gifted, funny and immensely talented teacher and photographer--more than willing to share all of his knowledge. As the author of many how-to books on photography myself, I have used Peterson's books as a constant source of information and ideas and I check my own facts against his regularly--I couldn't pay him a much higher compliment. As a photographer, I find myself looking at his pictures with great admiration and envy. His photographs are great. And by the way, "No!" I don't even know Bryan--except through his great books.

Of course, with all of those kind words said (and I meant them), you might also want to look at my book on exposure Exposure Photo Workshop: Develop Your Digital Photography Talent--I think they make good companion pieces. The book has now been translated to Polish, Spanish and Chinese and is available as a Kindle download Exposure Photo Workshop: Develop Your Digital Photography Talent Please also see my latest book Jeff Wignall's Digital Photography Crash Course: 2 Minute Tips for Better Photos.

Jeff Wignall
Author, The Joy of Digital Photography
[...]
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Location: Stratford, CT USA

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