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Informative but flawed
on 28 September 2008
This book does exactly what is says on the tin but there is a downside. It is written by an American author and each photographic example (of which there are many) is precursorsed by an annoying prologue that gives you the story behind each photograph. It is very schmaltzy, you find out he has two daughters, who his wife is, and numerous other things that although is nice it really has no place in a book of this type. It is very American, which can grate after a while. Contrast this with books written by the likes of Michael Freeman, highly informative and entertaining without being annoying at the same time
The good news is that if you can stomach the style there are some good tips in here. The sections on fast shutter speed hold no surprises, there is very little that can be said on that subject. Peterson makes a good job of exploring slower shutter speed and demonstrates how different levels of blur can be achieved. He does this in a jargon free manner that does inspire confidence to try out some of his techniques, he makes them sound easy and achievable. To his credit he does seem to have an ability to explain techniques and inspire yo to try them out.
There is a filler chapter regarding composition at the end which feels a bit tacked on. Also, I feel that he could have tackled really long exposures, he seems frightened to go beyond 15 seconds, I guess this is due to the limitations of digital at long exposures but there must be something he could explore at these extended shutter speed. Even something like using body caps for making digital pinhole cameras would have been welcome.
I feel this book is a solid grounding in the craft of shutter speed selection but there could have been a lot more said about the subject.