- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Amphoto Books; 3rd edition (August 10, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0817439390
- ISBN-13: 978-0817439392
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (979 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera Paperback – August 10, 2010
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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 (www.ppsop.com). He lives in Chicago.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Peterson really encourages the reader to think outside of the box (or view finder) to understand and use all of the creative features of the camera and your imagination.
The book is a good mix of photos and descriptive writing that gives the reader the camera setting information but the thought process in deciding what settings to use.
Peterson's writing style while describing the subject matter and the settings used on the camera really bring the reader into the idea behind the photo.
The appeal of this book is really for the novice to intermediate photographer. I can't think of any one subject about photography that Peterson doesn't present and explanation about.
Beautiful photography, nice writing style, detailed but concise explanations makes this one a keeper. If you like the second edition you'll find the third edition invaluable.
Now, my review:
I celebrate this book's powerful impact on my photography, an impact that occurred because I read the book as a 176 page persuasive argument in favor of manual exposure.
On colorful, glossy, and attractively arrayed pages, Peterson argues for a distinction between an image's "correct exposure" and its "creatively correct exposure." The former, your camera's light meter will reliably report; the latter, you must derive based on the scene and your intentions for it. Camera light meters don't care about which items photographers want in focus or left intentionally over- or underexposed; they care only about the degree to which the areas of frames assigned to their attention meet the accepted standard 18% grey specification. When that standard produces an image to your liking, great! But many times, your intended image is not possible if the meter's guidance is accepted. Hence, the need for manual exposure.
This book is a concise, yet thorough and eminently readable discussion of factors that affect an image's exposure: aperture (how wide open is the hole that lets light in through the lens to reach the camera's sensor), shutter speed (how long is that hole open), and light (that which allows the camera and its photographer to "see" anything). Interestingly, Peterson does not spend nearly as much time on ISO (the sensitivity of the camera's sensor to light) as he does on aperture and shutter speed, but his choice does not damage the book's final excellence.
Appearing, on average, about once per page are wonderful images from his professional work that showcase whatever subject matter is currently under review. More importantly, each of those images is accompanied by a marvelously detailed report as to the reason for his presence at the scene reflected, as well as his thought process that yielded the settings and methods choices he made before pushing the shutter button. I am a big fan of such process captions, and Peterson writes them VERY well.
Earlier I said this book functioned for me as a persuasive argument for shooting in manual exposure. Because of this book, I made the choice to shoot manual from now on, except when conditions require aperture- or shutter priority. Before reading "Understanding Exposure," I would have snickered at the suggestion that I would shoot in manual. But Peterson's work convinced me that if you understand the interplay of aperture, shutter, ISO, and light well enough - and I think I do - then manual mode is the mode that offers the best chance of producing the image of your vision. As important, the book convinced me that manual mode is not nearly as challenging or cumbersome to employ as I once thought it was. Now that I have been shooting in manual for a couple of weeks, I tell you the book is right.
I heartily, unconditionally recommend "Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition."
Further, the formatting in the Kindle edition leaves a lot to be desired. Dinging the Kindle edition specifically another star for that.