- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Amphoto Books; 1st edition (April 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0817463011
- ISBN-13: 978-0817463014
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Understanding Shutter Speed: Creative Action and Low-Light Photography Beyond 1/125 Second Paperback – April 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Great color photography with good examples of how varying shutter speeds will affect an image. There are a number of tricks -- like you can shoot action coming directly at you at 1/250, but need 1/500 for lateral or vertical movement.
I felt the book had a lot more fluff than the author's other effort. Some of the images were re-used -- or at least came from the same shoot -- and it had a lot more creative examples which I personally didn't like. It was outside the box a bit in terms of how to use shutter speeds, my complaint is that the results, even if intended, were not desirable.
I liked this book, and glad I have it as a supplement to my growing photo library; but, I would not buy this before having his other edition. Shop price on this. I wouldn't overpay. I would give this 3 1/2 stars if Amazon allowed it.
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.
So I went to the local photography store and bought this book. It is alright for people that really don't understand shutter-speed, but it is a little light on serious photography information for people who have some understanding of shutter-speed already.
A lot of space is devoted to his pictures, a lot of which really aren't very good. There is a picture of his daughter skiing that really looks like a 4 year old took it. He is also fond of talking about how great his life as a pro-photographer is, which is a bit annoying.
You could write a brief summary of this book as follows:
Fast shutterspeeds (1/250 and up) will freeze action.
Slow shutterspeeds (1/30 and below) will make your pictures look artistic.
It isn't a terrible book but given the reputation this guy has on here I thought I would take a moment and write my first book review ever.