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Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera Paperback – 7 Aug 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews

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  • Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
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  • The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photographs: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books; 3 edition (7 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817439390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817439392
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 1.1 x 28.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 (www.ppsop.com).


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
I have had trouble understanding exposure for years, having a problem with spacial awareness (I have dyscalculia - the number equivalent of dyslexia) and not being able to understand such concepts as something larger representing something smaller (eg big number - 22 - representing a smaller aperture). I bought this book in the hope that it would assist, having read raving reviews about how simple Bryan Peterson makes the concepts. I couldnt have been happier with the outcome - things I have struggled with for ages are now clear as crystal. Whoever would have thought of describing ISO as a team of worker bees - it's obvious when you think about it, 100 bees is going to do the job in twice the time that 200 bees would take! If that's confusing, read the book - it is worth its weight in gold!
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Format: Paperback
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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