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The Confused Photographer's Guide to On-Camera Spotmetering (The Confused Photographer's Guide to . . . Series) Paperback – January 14, 2005
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"Farzad offers simple solutions to the sometimes complicated light metering issues of the modern equipment." -- Outdoor Photographer Magazine Book Review
"Farzad's wealth of creative analogies should certainly alleviate the confusion all beginning photographers have in understanding exposure" -- Elinor Stecker-Orel: Popular Photography Book Review
"Using simplified text, drawings, and examples, Farzad makes this difficult subject (Exposure) comprehensible" -- Dick Watkins: Nature Photographer Magazine
From the Publisher
The reality of life is that there is not a single light metering system in the world that can give you a correctly exposed image for every given subject. If you do not believe this, set your expensive camera to its most advanced metering system ever invented and take pictures of a black surface and a white surface. When you look at the resulting negative (or slide) you will be disappointed. Cameras of today, very much like the cameras of forty years ago, are incapable of recording extreme tones such as a black and a white surface. What you are going to get from this crude experiment is a medium gray image tone. To add insult to injury, you will have absolutely no clue which one of these resulting images correspond to the original subject. As this experiment demonstrates, there is not a single metering system that, without your help and intervention, can capture what your eye sees and what your mind wants to capture. Of all metering systems available to the photographer, only one can give a consistent and predictable reading to the photographer EVERY TIME! Once equipped with this knowledge, the photographer can use his or her knowledge of spotmetering to override this reading to capture the desired image. The major difference between a skilled photographer and an unskilled one is that the latter never questions the camera's readings. The skilled always interprets the spotmeter's reading according to the subject tone, and if necessary, overrides the reading to capture desired image. The Confused Photographer's Guide to On-Camera Spotmetering is the first book ever published that deals with the new millennium's standard 35mm as well as digital cameras. The Confused Photographer's Guide teaches the photographer to use the spotmetering/partial metering feature of the camera to determine the correct/desired exposure every time. Unlike other reflective metering systems (including average, center-weighted, and matrix, and others), in which! the unskilled photographer is at the mercy of the camera's vision, with spotmetering the skilled photographer has full control over the final image. The book uses color slides as a training tool to get the point across. As you may know, with slide film "what you take is what you get." Since slide film is positive, the inexperienced photographer can determine his or her exposure flaws quickly and effectively. If you have never used slide film before, think of it as the training wheels of your exposure skills. Once you have mastered the technique, you can take off the wheels and start applying the technique to color negative film, to black and white negative film, and to digital film. The second edition of the Confused Photographers Guide includes digital footnotes as well as a section about digital photography; in this section, you will learn how to use the camera's spotmetering feature (with special reference to Nikon CoolPix 990/995) to get the desired image tone on your monitor.
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Farzad's book a provides a practical and simplified application of the zone system, a topic that sends most tyro photographers running. So Farzad never mentions the "z" word. Instead, he provides a simple explanation of how photographic exposure systems work (regardless of camera type). He follows this with a simplified methodology to employ with an on-camera spotmeter (found on many popular cameras today) to ensure proper exposure. The system is based on science but with use becomes intuitive. "Cheat sheets" for popular cameras incorporating spotmeters are included to facilitate application of the principles applied.
This is a well-produced self-published book, wiht lots of simple graphics to illustrate the concepts conveyed. Farzad himslef is an accomplished amateur photographer and photographic instructor; examples of his work can be found on his website. If you are Ansel Adams, this book is not for you. If you want to begin to approach Adams' technical style, start here.
In "Understanding Exposure" you will learn how to control your camera, what Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO are. This book will teach how to apply that knowledge to photograph difficult subjects.
An example: I have a young Kerry Blue Terrier. The dog has an almost black coat. No matter how much I tried to take a good photo of him, I could never take a photo that would perfectly capture his coat's texture and color. I got this book, read it in under 3 hours - and suddenly it just all clicked together: what I was doing wrong, and how to correct it.
So I wholeheartedly recommend this book - you will not regret spending your money on it.
Most recent customer reviews
print...it's for film photographers'!! I'm sure
that it's a well written book-just outdated.