91 of 98 people found the following review helpful
More Understanding Exposure,
This review is from: Understanding Shutter Speed: Creative Action and Low-Light Photography Beyond 1/125 Second (Paperback)I've seen photography books on many subjects but this is the first one I've ever seen that claimed to limit itself to an understanding of shutter speed. How could I resist?
Bryan Peterson is the author of "Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition)", a very popular book with photographers just getting into using cameras that allow them to adjust shutter speed, aperture and ISO for a proper exposure. This book might well have been entitled "More Understanding Exposure".
The book, which reads quickly and clearly, offers chapters covering the range of shutter speeds from 1/2000 of a second to several seconds and shows you when their use is appropriate. Peterson shows the reader how the use of different shutter speeds may be appropriate for the same subject, as when photographing action one might use a fast shutter speed to stop the action dead or a slow shutter speed to achieve deliberate blurs. Along the way, he scatters tips some of which are directly related to shutter speed, like shooting into the light in the rain at 1/60 of a second to get the best rain trails, and some only indirectly related, like using a Bogen Magic Arm attached to a broom to get a broom's eye view of sweeping. Occasionally the pictures offered in illustration are extremely striking, like the image of a cat making its way down a flight of purple stairs, and sometimes quite banal, like the pictures of his daughter running toward the camera. The final chapter of the book, a summary of the rules of composition, seemed more like an add-on to make sure the author had a book's worth of pages.
I found Peterson's description of clinging to the roof of a car without handholds, while being driven down a road taking pictures, to capture a sense of movement, alarming. It also seemed to me that a great deal of the information related to capturing blurred images, either as a result of camera or subject movement. I've used the procedure myself to convey my artistic intent, but here there seemed to be a suggestion that the result would inevitably be art, and I'm certain that's not a correct conclusion.
New photographers who have just begun to master exposure may benefit from the wide array of techniques offered and may find the inspiration to experiment. On the other hand, there is little here that will be new to experienced photographers, most of whom will have already learned the virtues of slow shutter speeds.