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on 13 December 2011
As an amateur photographer I enjoyed 'Understanding Flash Photography' and found it very informative. This book (covers very briefly and) continues forward from his simple concepts/ explanations from his book `Understanding Exposure', (a book that I would recommend for people who are new to photography.)

Bryan explains when to use Flash, how to use flash in camera TTL and manual mode, guide numbers, the Slow Sync flash, fill light, Bounce flash, Rear-Curtain Sync etc (the common modes that are found with flash). There are a lot of pictures to illustrate the `issues' involved.

The book is very good and is geared to DSLR camera beginners in flash and intermediate users but not advanced users e.g. he does not go into depth about off-camera flash and positioning and multiple flash units / studio setups or macro flash.
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on 18 August 2012
I've owned an SB900 for a year or so but I've struggled to do anything effectively with it. I was reading Joe Mcnallys books and videos on kelby training - which are great but I always felt I was missing something. I was, there's a whole load of fundamentals about flash I was missing and Bryan in his great teaching style covers them fantastically in this book. It's one of those books that I felt sad had to end. But it's really brought me up a level with the basics of flash and got me shooting proper flash pictures. I also think when I go back to the Joe McNally resources I'll get a lot more out of them.
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on 12 October 2011
An excellent publication.Easy to read and more importantly easy to understand. When one reads this and puts his suggestions into practice the results are immediate.It is a brilliant practical guide which is free from technical jargon and takes the reader on a step by step course to a better understanding of the subject which leads ultimately to better photographs.A must have for any library.
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on 26 January 2013
I've read 3 of Bryans books prior to this and enjoyed them all. This one though was not so good.
As said before, there is a lot of repetition which gets a bit boring after a while.

It should also be made clear that Canon Speedlite users can not put into practice what Bryan shows as you are not able to set ISO and f-stops in manual mode on a Canon speedlite. So without a printed distance guide or calculator to hand you're stuck really. Had this have been made clear from the outset, I would not have purchased this book.

Sadly now I have to purchase another book which will cover other areas of Speedlites such as ETTL-II
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on 30 December 2011
Finally "let there be light" ! Really ! I am also a fan of Peterson's books (I have them all, so a bit positively biased) but this one was too long expected by me. I was sure that it would solve all my questions and puzzles once and for all. and it did. and right from the start.
In general, easy to follow (like all his books) either with an external or built in flash.
OK, you might argue that he uses as usually Nikon gear (thankfully I am a Nikonian) but most of the material can be readily generalized to any user. Some of the hints and ideas regarding manual mode (e.g. distance - aperture meter) do not apply to cheaper Nikon gear (such as SB600) but at least now, even with fully automatic i-TTL mode, your "artificial little sun" is no longer a black box !
You will finally find out about the relation between aperture and shutter speed regarding light, when and how to use it in common situations, automatic and manual modes, guide numbers, bouncing light, slow sync, fill in, rear sync, color gels, off camera flash etc.
In conclusion, this book is for the average creative puzzled amateurs like me (and some more millions I suppose out there) that need to know about using their (one and not dozens of) speedlight creatively. If your learning needs go beyond this and you are now investigating about studio lighting, lots of wireless flashes and strobes working together, ring flashes, reflectors, and similar stuff, then you will have to look for additional reading material. I am sure that Bryan is planning for a follow up book with advances in photography lighting to fill this "gap" !

In this respect, I strongly recommend the book ! For me it was like the title of my review: At last there was light !
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on 11 June 2012
I discovered Bryan Peterson from the videos he makes for Adorama TV. In all of the videos he demonstrates how to achieve good results in ordinary situations without resorting to expensive layouts such as a professional studio. In this book he takes just the same approach. The book works through a whole variety of scenarios where he uses flash to obtain some great photographs. In each case he tells you all the camera and flash settings he used and also tells you exactly why he chose those settings. In the vast majority of cases he uses just one flash gun although on a few occasions he uses a second flash.

In each case he shows a smaller photo taken without the benefit of flash and a larger image showing the improved picture taken with flash. There are also many photos showing the actual set up that he used.

The book is really easy to read and understand and has taught me more about flash photography than I ever knew before. Previously, I've always used flash in full automatic mode and have never been really happy with the results. Thanks to Bryan Peterson I now know better. A highly recommended book.
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on 22 November 2011
Great book. Within 30 minutes I had learned how to use my electronic portable flash. This is something that the Nikon manual patently failed to do. In fact Nikon should read this book and take notes. It isn't that hard to explain clearly how to use a flash. I see that now. But I needed this book to help me. Bryan does a good job of explaining and comes up with some nice special techniques to help you get more out of your flash unit. Clear, well illustrated and enjoyable.
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on 16 January 2013
I had no idea about flash but I bought a sb 700 anyway, thinking that one day I might be able to use it. I am still reading Bryan 's book and even if that day didn't come yet, I am a lot closer to it, I hope. The brilliant thing about the kindle version is that I can make notes and if I am in a situation when I can't figure something out, Bryan " comes out of my pocket " and tells me how to do it( I've got the kindle app on my iPhone as well). Just like in the. Field guide to understanding photography, everything is very nicely explained to you, with examples and different scenarios, all in all, a fantastic book that I couldn't recommend enough if you are , like me , at the beginning of this wonderful road.
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on 22 September 2011
I must declare an interest first. I am a Bryan Peterson fan through and through. I have all of his books so far. For me his USP is the straight forward and pragmatic nature of his advice. He has a knack of making seemingly complex issues easy to understand and a breeze to remember. I think each book I have read contains at least one "Eureka" moment.

For me the Eureka moment came early on in this book. I have been struggling with flash exposures for ages leading me to avoid low light situations like the plague. Not anymore! Once Bryan has lifted the scales from your eyes you will positively be looking for those low light / fill situations.

A comprehensive and easy to follow book which is a must for anyone with an external flash gun or two. Don't hessitate to buy this book or any of his other books. He just can't write them fast enough for me!
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on 24 November 2014
I have been a long sufferer and many years since film with flash photography.
I found this book a must and an inspiration.
If you’re ever thinking seriously about flash you must, must read this.
The author is a teacher and professional photographer and explains in detail the ins and outs of flash photography using many photographic example’s and camera/flash settings.
Concise and easy to read.
Read the book from cover to cover and I honestly believe I have learnt so much about the subject now.
Can’t wait to practice the author’s methods.
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