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Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition [Kindle Edition]

Bryan Peterson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £19.99
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Book Description

With more than 350,000 copies sold, Understanding Exposure has demystified the complex concepts of exposure for countless photographers. Now updated with current technologies, more than one hundred new images, and an all-new chapter, this new edition will inspire you more than ever to free yourself from “auto” and create the pictures you truly want.

In his trademark easy-to-understand style, author Bryan Peterson explains the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, including how to achieve successful exposures in seemingly difficult situations. You’ll learn:

• Which aperture gives you the greatest contrast and sharpness, and when to use it 
• Which apertures guarantee the background remains an out-of-focus tone 
• Which one aperture—when combined with the right lens—creates an area of sharpness from three feet to infinity 
• How to creatively use shutter speed to either freeze an action or imply motion 
• Where to take a meter reading when shooting a sunset, snow, or a city at dusk


With new information on white balance, flash, HDR, and more, this updated classic will inspire you to stop guessing and take control of your settings for better photos anytime, anywhere, and with any camera.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Description

About the Author

Bryan Peterson is a phenomenon in how-to photography and has sold more than half a million books. A professional photographer and internationally known instructor, he is the author of Learning to See Creatively, Understanding Digital Photography, Beyond Portraiture, among others. He is also the founder of the online photography school The Perfect Picture School of Photography (

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 38602 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books; 3rd edition (21 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FEFS5E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,707 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

BRYAN PETERSON is a professional photographer, internationally known instructor, and founder of, The Perfect Picture School of Photography. He is the best-selling author of Understanding Exposure, Understanding Shutter Speed, Understanding Close-Up Photography, Learning to See Creatively Understanding Digital Photography, Beyond Portraiture and, most recently, Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography Field Guide. His easy-to-understand writing and teaching style breaks down the complex and often confusing aspects of photography, translating them into what his students routinely describe as "aha" moments. His trademark use of colour and strong, graphic composition have garnered him many photographic awards and a strong following. He lives in Chicago.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
146 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This knowledge will improve your photos 21 Sept. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You can break down good photos into two aspects - the composition and the exposure. This is the best book I have read that covers the exposure. For composition, I highly recommend Michael Freeman's "The Photographers Eye". That book did more to improve my photos than anything I've read in the last 3 years.

Back to this book. So, you've learnt how to compose the photo. You need to understand how to capture what you see, or to create something from what you see. This book works through the photographic triangle of aperture, shutter speed and ISO in clear language. The best thing is that every picture has the settings that the author has used. It is so frustrating that most other books don't do that. Sure, by experimentation you can learn the ideal settings yourself. But in my view you, armed with the knowledge of how the author achieves his effects (eg creamy waterfalls) helps put you in the right ball park for the settings while you are learning, which means you shouldn't be making basic mistakes while taking photos of stuff you really want to capture. Which, let's face it, is why we are taking the photos in the first place. The book encourages you to move away from using the auto settings and be more in control of the shot and acheive better outcomes.

I also have Michael Freeman's "Perfect Exposure". That is a significantly more technical book, going into details of dynamic ranges, histograms etc. In itself, it is an excellent book, but I'd recommend Peterson's book as a first step.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As an enthusiast who wants to improve and move into more full manual control of my camera, I had been frustrated - until I picked up this book. It very usefully steps you through all the key components of creating exposure and also takes you beyond 'technically proper' exposures into 'creating' images. What I liked best was that it would demonstrate the point being made, and then explain to you how to demonstrate it to yourself (sitting there with camera in hand). Very inspiring and I feel much more confident!
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
By Alan
I have recently purchased this book, and although I have read some good reviews of it, I had my reservations. I thought to myself, here is yet another photography book with loads of information that will only overwhelm a potential photography beginner. I am happy to say I was completely wrong.

Understanding Exposure is a book written specifically to suit beginner photography level, and to explain the mechanics of photo taking process (exposure), in a simple, non-threatening way. Digital Photography at this day and age is very much technical, and given the amount of books, websites and other tutorials, both in writing and on the web can be very confusing and frustrating for a photography beginner. Therefore it is easy to forget the basics of photography, which are quite simple, and this is where Understanding Exposure book stands out above the rest. It keeps things simple. Many technical aspects such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are simplified to the level that anyone can understand. I have especially liked the concept of "who cares" aperture (f/8.0 and f/11).

Bryan also encourages the reader to take control of his/her digital camera by using Manual recording mode, which at first seems to be a little backwards when comparing to what are most of the photography magazines suggesting, but it makes perfect sense. By consciously selecting aperture and shutter speed, and keeping track of camera's suggested settings for these parameters, the reader actively takes part in understanding exposure and how it works, which is the point of the book. Getting more consistent photo results than using automatic or semi-automatic recording modes (such as aperture priority, or shutter priority) is just a cherry on top.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one book buy this! 10 Jan. 2011
If you are new to photography, in particular DSLRs, then this book is unquestionably for you.

Being a professional photographer I have read A LOT of books over the years about photography. And to everyone who asks me what the best book is to learn about exposure I have but one answer..."Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson".

I don't know about you but I've read books in the past where you read a page and can't remember what you just read 30 seconds ago cos it was so badly written.

Bryan's style of writing with clear and concise explanations, and lots of examples with actual camera settings, is simply a delight to read. He breaks down the components of exposure (Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO) and how they interact with each other brilliantly.

It won't teach you about composition or the 'correct' exposure as these are completely subjective anyway, but what it will do is teach you how to understand what your camera is telling.

The view finder of a modern digital SLR can be very indimidating with numbers, letters and symbols all over the place. Bryan's book will teach you what these all mean and what adjustments you need to make to get the result you want, so eventually you move away from that 'P' setting to Av, Tv and eventually M! It worked for me!

For anyone new to DSLR photography I recommend this book without reservation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Someone switched the light on
Great book explained in simple everyday terms with examples. I read this about 2 years ago . And I've just read it again, both times I was engrossed and have tried most of the... Read more
Published 4 days ago by robert kenney
5.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to understand
Mr Peterson has his own way of describing things but it worked well for me. I will always be able to recall 'Mr Blue Sky' and all the others.
Published 8 days ago by GRWilky
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of useful advice on getting the right exposure for your...
I've watched many of Bryan Peterson's (free) tutorials, generally short but interesting. He kept promoting his own books. Read more
Published 18 days ago by DB.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good easy to understand
Published 21 days ago by blackyam
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. a must buy for all
Great book.a must buy for all.Great tips.
Published 1 month ago by Nessa Meaney
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clearly written - easy to understand
At last, I am beginning to understand the infernal-triangle of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I am VERY new to photography and this book has been a big help. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Virginia Plain
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for both beginners and experts.
Excellent book for both beginners and experts.
This is the 2nd one I have purchased. I gave the first to my daughter when she bought a new DSLR.
Published 1 month ago by Tony Dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book for the beginner to DSLR
Very pleased with this purchase
Published 1 month ago by Esther D Farquhar
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
A great book if you are into Photography , I should have bought it a long time ago .
Published 2 months ago by D.J.B
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book worth the money.
Published 2 months ago by David O
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