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Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs Hardcover – 1 Oct 1990

4.4 out of 5 stars 180 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books (1 Oct. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817437118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817437114
  • Product Dimensions: 28.2 x 21.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Bryan Peterson is the author of the best-selling Learning to See Creatively --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 31 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
Being quite critical towards most photo-books I have come across, this one really deserves all the credit it can get! This books explains all there is to know about the photographic triangle between aperture, shutter time, and ISO. It is a practical book covering most practical shots and it goes further in the sense that it tells you how to do the meter reading with the camera -> something which most books leave conveniently out. Besides from very detailed and well-written information on how to get the right creative exposure, Bryan covers the relevant differences between analogue and digital SLR in this updated version. The book contains the most beautiful and inspiring photos and - yes yes yes - he includes the camera settings on all the photos so that the reader can learn!!! Everything is based on simple rules and metaphors which I am able to remember in the field! This has improved my photography skills -> really what everything should be after when purchasing a new photo book! While Bryan at times can get a bit "snobbish" for my taste, he is a man that has earned his reputation and is very competent in bringing his many years of experience on to the reader. The book also contains some very nice information related to filters and how you can get the exposure you want even the light conditions do not facilitate it. Really great value.
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Format: Paperback
This book could equally well be named Understanding Exposure and Photographic Composition. Printed on high-quality paper, the images Peterson uses to illustrate his points are all great examples not just of correct exposure, but also of photographic composition.

The author's style is engaging and right from the start, I found myself reaching for my camera to try out his suggestions.

Not only is Peterson a great photographer, he is also a great teacher projecting his enthusiasm for photography onto the reader.

I found this book a more compelling read than any edge-of-our-seat thriller I ever read, only putting it down to go out and shoot some photographs.

After reading this book, I no longer let the camera make my exposure decisions - choice of Aperture, Shutter speed, ISO setting are now concious decisions with a particular effect in mind.

If you want to move from "point & shoot - unpredictable result" to "think, compose, point, shoot - expected result", this is a worthwhile investment.
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Format: Paperback
Wow - Absolutely the best book I've read on explaining exposure
and light metering. The author gives you a step by step guide
on exposure, aperture, shutter speed and ISO. He talks to you
in non technical language and gives fantastic photos to explain
the techniques involved. I couldn't put it down from once I
started reading it. This book says it all - Turn off your
automatic setting and start getting creative with aperture and
shutter speed. A really fantastic book and worth every cent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So many people recommended this book that in the end I had to get it. And it's basically just as good as everyone says.

As you'd expect, it runs through the main things you need to know about exposure: using aperture for depth of field, fast shutter speeds for movement and all that stuff that you already know.

Except he seems to add things that you didn't know, or hadn't thought of.

Remember, this is just about exposure, so it's not telling you how to frame shots, or what to take photos of, just how to get the exposure right.

He uses a lot of easily remembered terms, like 'story telling' or 'who cares?' apertures. Some of them seem a bit silly, but there's no doubt you know what he's talking about. Later on, it gets even sillier, when he talks about 'Brother Blue Sky' and Mr Green Jeans' for exposure of skies and green areas. And you think, hang on, I'm not twelve. But I can see the point. If he was very technical about it, you'd never remember, but this way, you're out with your camera, and you think, I'll use Brother Reflecting Sky. Just don't say it out loud.

So Peterson has a knack of putting things over in an easy to comprehend way that's actually useful when you're out taking shots. I tried a few of his techniques straightaway, and they work.

The book is nicely illustrated of course, with good examples to show how the techniques work. It's well written, and genuinely useful if you pretty much understand how to use manual exposure but want to go a step further.
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Format: Paperback
Thankyou Bryan Peterson. You are a saviour! I'd recently purchased myself a Nikon F55 plus a few extras in the January sales, and had read a book I already had on photography. As I continued to read, my heart sank lower and lower. Nobody told me you had to have a PhD in Nuclear Physics to learn photography! What were all those tables, and charts and calculations??Enter Bryan. Discovered in an Amazon search, persuaded by other favourable reviews, he already sounded like the man I needed to put me back on track. And boy was I not disappointed. This man makes you feel like anyone could be a professional. His prose is chatty, avuncular but never patronising. Yes, some (frankly humourless) people may get annoyed with his little mantras that he's devised over the years to guide him through metering problems. But to me they're more memorable than a sea of numbers. And once you've read it the first night you get it (which you will), it suddenly all becomes so clear. He tells you where to meter, illustrates clearly each effect he's tried to achieve- in laymans language, it all sounds so much less daunting and far simpler than you were ever led to believe - and you just know he is absolutely passionate about what he does. This shows in his beautiful pictures. So if you're a beginner or intermediate - this is the Book for you.
PS: one nitpick - in his section on Aperture he explains about depth-of-field scales (absent from most modern cameras with zoom lenses) and that it's necessary to calculate this by distance setting instead. Only he didn't include a chart to say what the scales/distances were.
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