I've read plenty of photography books and this one is my favorite by far. From the beginners to the pros, everyone will enjoy this book. Its full of beautiful high quality pictures with captions explaing how he took the shot. Plenty of useful advice for beginners and if you haven't picked up your camera in a while, this one will get you up off the couch and out shooting. I'm excited all over again about photography. I pretty much have photography down pack as far as the technical side and I still learned a little bit more. Bryan Peterson's book, Understanding Exposure, use to be my favorite. This one blows it out of the water. BUY IT, you won't be disappointed. Highly Recommended. I've owned it for a few days and I can't put it down. Sean Arbabi, you hit the ball out of the park with this one. --Amazon.com review - January 20, 2009 (by A. Obannon)
I have learned so much from this book, it is an excellent resource for anyone who really wants to understand the nuts and bolts of taking great pictures and deepen their knowledge of photography. I recently stepped up to a DSLR and decided to become more serious about understanding my camera and developing my photography skills. I've purchased several books over the last six months, beginning with an introductory to digital photography with Jim Miotke's book from Betterphoto, and a David Busch's book for my specific camera (also highly recommended--the user manuals that come with cameras are awful). I also bought a book on landscape shooting (Fitzharris) and Sean Arbabi's book on exposure. Reading all of them has given me quite an education, but Sean's book, The Betterphoto Guide to Exposure, was particularly good at helping everything come together and make sense. If you really want to capture great photos and would rather spend your time out-n-about taking pictures instead of sitting in front of a computer "photoshopping" them, this book will get you on the right track. It offers a plethora of specific information on aperture and shutter speed and how they work together along with the metering capabilities of your camera (and you) to produce a properly exposed photo. After reading this book thoroughly and going back to it as a reference, I now choose to shoot most of my pictures in manual. I actually find it easier than fiddling with exposure compensation and other adjustments in the more automated modes of my camera. I've had many "lightbulb moments" reading this book and continue to do so as my experience has grown; I find myself referring back to it regularly. I can't say enough about the educational value of this book--and the pictures within it are beautiful as well. Thanks Sean for making a better photographer out of me! --Amazon.com review - September 14, 2009 (by Sharon ES)
So I had a chance to read The BetterPhoto Guide to Exposure over this past weekend and I have to say that I found this to be a vast improvement from the first BetterPhoto Guide that I had read what seems like years ago but was really only last month.
This book is more advanced (although not incredibly technical) then the first in the series and I think that the major point of improvement was the photography itself. The photos in this book are inspiring. Straight up great work. Whats more is that the author really talks about what it took to setup the photo - why the settings and shooting modes were selected and then the exact shooting specs were provided.
Before taking photography classes and reading more and more about exposure I thought the numbers and appreviations under photos was as close to jibberish as you can get and if you're in that boat now then this book will help you sort out what the numbers mean and how those numbers impact your shots.
This book is loaded with tips and How-Tos that I found really useful like What to Expose for When Backlighting. I had always loved those silhouetted shots where the sun is setting behind the subject and now I know how it's done (you will too as soon as the sun decides to come out and I can do a post about it).
The only area that I thought was a little weak were the step - by - step lessons and the assignments. I've been looking and searching and asking about a real teaching book - a book that taught and challenged the reader to apply the lessons and I have not yet found one. Do you have any recommendations? --BeyondMegapixels.com - March 2009
We photographers are easily misunderstood. Outsiders have a lot of misconceptions about our work. It is believed that our photographs are exclusively the products of planned compositions and a good eye. While that may be the case, our work is really defined and judged by exposure. Exposure is the single most important aspect of what we do. It is also the most difficult aspect to master. In his latest book, `The BetterPhoto Guide to Exposure', Sean Arbabi aims to share his wealth of knowledge on the topic.
The book is only concerned with exposure and anything that would affect exposure. Other aspects of photography, such as composition or equipment, are not within the scope of this book and are not covered. The guide is divided into eight chapters, each focusing on a piece of puzzle covering such topics as Lighting, Metering and so on. Arbabi includes nine assignments, little mini projects you can attempt with your own camera in order to better understand the topic at hand. Additionally, you will find a compulsory photographic examples, a number of side-bar tips, a complete index and a list of resources.
The Guide is what I like to call a How & Why book. Many books, even popular ones, are written with the belief that the why will confuse the reader. I would disagree. The science and theory behind a technique is important to being able to adapt your skills. Arbabi must share my opinion. This book explains a lot of the science behind such techniques, but Arbabi does not get long winded, nor does he make assumptions as to your skill. Exposure, as you know, is the sum of a number of things: lighting, aperture, shutter speed, ISO - it's a lot to think about. Arbabi breaks each component down with simple language and excellent examples from his own portfolio.
This guide is really written for a novice photographer who is comfortable with their camera. Arbabi does not spend time on such topics as composition. And you won't find him discussing how to change settings on your camera. In fact, every aspect of the book remains completely on topic with only one small exception: A sub-chapter at the end of the book about organizing cataloging your digital files. It's interesting to get into the author's mind with respect to workflow, but I question its purpose in this book. The chapter seems out of place in a book about exposure.
For beginners and novices, the guide is an excellent resource. As I mentioned above, Arbabi doesn't saddle the reader with composition advice or the like. So you will be able to focus on getting great exposure. Arbabi's simple approach and explanations will leave you with few questions and a clear understanding of the techniques discussed.
Meanwhile, more experienced photographers should already understand most of the concepts discussed throughout the book. For these photographers, the book would only serve as a source of mental refreshment or reference. Though I will admit that there were at least a few items that were not previously part of my own knowledge.
For everyone, Chapter 6, titled `Difficult Exposures', is going to be the most useful chapter of the book. In the book's introduction, Arbabi mentions the way you approach exposure will change depending on the situation and a number of variables. The key to understaning such a complicated aspect of photography is best learned through experience, practice and example. The `Difficult Exposures' chapter explores a number of scenarios in which achieving a technically perfect may not be possible. But as Arbabi points out, there is a lot of potential in an exposure that isn't technically perfect, and he shares his tips and ideas in this chapter. Reading how he handles specific situations and seeing the resulting photos is an excellent way to learn.
If you're relatively new to photography, this is a book that I would highly recommend adding to your personal library. Your work will benefit greatly from the wisdom and tips that can be garnered from The BetterPhoto Guide to Exposure. The book will also be beneficial to intermediate photographers, especially that last chapter about difficult exposures. But advanced photographers may find this book a little too elementary and of little value.
At a Glance
Great and pertinent examples illustrating techniques and possible solutions.
Several photo comparisons clearly illustrating the benefit of filters or adjustments.
Well designed assignments that allow you to practice new-found techniques.
The resource list is a nice touch, but it nearly devoid of web links. Edit: As the author so kindly pointed out, the resource list has weblinks included for nearly all of the resources listed.My apologies for this oversight.
The last chapter about cataloging doesn't seem to fit the theme of the book. --ShutterPhoto.net - March 2009
Sean makes it very easy to understand Exposure. He loves what he does and you can feel that in the way he teaches. The book is written in terms that anyone can understand. He added assignments to do that follows the current chapter and his charts for different lighting conditions are very helpful. I carry this book with me when I go out shooting, of course it stays in the car when I am walking about but I note the conditions and then use the book to help me decide how I will shoot my images in the current lighting. -- Amazon.com review - September 14, 2009 (by M. Sconce)