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This review is from: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera (Paperback)
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.