Customer Review

200 of 211 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST photography book I've EVER read!!!, October 13, 2010
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This review is from: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera (Paperback)
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. He makes it simple enough for the beginner to understand, and yet, without being condescending, can teach (or remind) the pros of the all-too-frequently overlooked simplicity of how to use only the camera, considering ISO, aperture and shutter speed to work in harmony to get a 'one of a kind' photo.

One of the statements I have heard all too often from professional photographers is that the on-camera flash is useless. Interestingly, I have found it to be a godsend in many photographic situations, and then get accalades from the same professionals about the quality of the lighting. Hmmm... Anyway, Bryan Peterson shares information on what I've already discovered; the on-camera flash is another great tool that already comes with your camera.

I will, in all fairness, confess that I have a DSLR, so I can't deny or confirm the book's subtitle of "how to shoot great photographs with any camera" and how it relates to the 'point and shoot' cameras.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 12, 2010 9:43:31 AM PST
Erin Nelson says:
Thanks for this. I'm a pro, but also feeling stuck and like I need to revisit the basics I thought I absorbed a long time ago. Good to know this was valuable for you, even though you're not picking up a camera for the first time.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2011 9:25:15 AM PDT
He has lots of tips that friends of mine that have shot for years did not know. It does what it claims to do, you understand exposure. Since we live in the world of post processing all you need to do these days in get exposure within 2 stops, thats close enough to fix later. This book gets you that. It also helps with DOF and other topics. I went from one shot in ten getting oohs and ahhs to people thinking I am an expert, nope...I just read this book and practiced.

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 11:19:12 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 19, 2015 11:19:51 AM PST
B. Speer says:
"Best ever" is a bit over the top, however, with this booklet I concur. Visit his web site and learn from his many examples of technique. I wound up buying most of Peterson's booklets and this is still the best overall. We all need to have an "eye" for art and composition. That is a gift you have or don't have but Peterson will open your eye to many possibilities for improving your methods. A few basics are the need for tripods or monopods if possible and the short best period of day lighting at sunrise and sunset that usually don't fit my convenience yet personal experience at these times produces some of my best using natural light. As a non-professional I also recommend Google's "Picasa 3" for editing. It changed all my pictures for the better and makes me appreciate why "film" photography was truly primitive by comparison. Happy Trails
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