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Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film Or Digital Camera [Paperback]

Bryan Peterson
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera 4.9 out of 5 stars (47)
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2004
More than 100 vivid, graphic comparison pictures illustrate every point in this revised classic and can help any photographer maximize the creative impact of his or her exposure decisions. Peterson stresses the importance of metering the subject for a starting exposure, and then explains how to use various exposure meters and different kinds of lighting. The book contains lessons on each element of the exposure-aperature, shutter speed, iso-and how it relates to the other two in terms of depth of field, freezing and blurring action, and shooting in low light or at night. A section on special techniques explores such options as deliberate under- and overexposures, how to produce double exposures, bracketing, shooting the moon, and the use of filters. Understanding Exposure demonstrates that there are always creative choices about how to expose a picture-and that the decision is up to the photographer, not the camera.

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About the Author

Bryan Peterson is the author of the best-selling Learning to See Creatively and writes a photography column "Picture Points," for Popular Photography Magazine. His many photographic awards include the Communication Arts Photography Annual (eight times), Print Magazine's Design Annual (four times), and the New York Art Directors Gold Award. He lives in Seattle and Lyon, France.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, easy to read, huge impact! July 7 2006
If I had to credit one single book to developing my photography skills the most, it would be this one by a long shot. This book taught me how to get out of Auto mode on my rebel xt and into Manual mode where I have much more creative control.

Learning to shoot in Manual (M) mode can be a long a drawn out progression for the beginner/amateur photographer but this book teaches you how to do it very simply, quickly and effectively. It is an easy read and very well presented. I could notice huge differences within a few days of reading it, and this is after doing photography for a year.

See for yourself:

There are over a hundred full color photos inside the book where each shot tells you the camera's setting so you can go out and try it yourself.

I would reccommend this book to anyone from the creative "point and shoot" users to the advanced professionals.

Enough talk,
Just go buy it.

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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Jan. 11 2005
Although this book may at first be intimidating for someone who has never handled a SLR Camera, it is actually a thorough beginner's book. It is not overly "technical", although any book on exposure will be full of numbers when talking of aperture, shutter speeds, ISO settings, etc. Once you begin to get a grasp of these concepts, the reading is easy and enlightening. (no pun intended)
For those with a little experience, this book will clear up many of the exposure mysteries that you may have faced. I think it is a "must read" for beginner to intermediate shutterbugs.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Offers a greater understanding of Exposure. Jan. 12 2009
By Ned Middleton TOP 100 REVIEWER
There are those photographers who understand exposure and those who do not. Whatever your own level of experience with either (or both) digital or film camera, this book will, at one of the scale, teach the novice a great deal about the subject. At the other end, there will be few professional or highly competent amateur photographers who could fail to learn something from this excellent work. In short, there is something for everyone in this book and, even a brief flick through the pages, is enough to generate ideas.

I particularly like the way in which the book is laid out. A great deal of thought went into a design which allows readers to build on what has been covered so far as they progress through the work. Beginning with; Defining Exposure, the author devotes considerable time to each of the main headings which also include; Aperture, Shutter Speed, Light and penultimately; Special Techniques and Filters. Finally, there is a discussion on Film vs. Digital which might be useful for those photographers who are still not convinced by the new technology.

Speaking as a self-taught photographer whose own pictures have been widely published for over 30 years, this book has explained much that I did not previously understand as well as, perhaps, I should have.

Approx. A4 size, with one of the nicest dedications I have ever come across, there are 160 pages containing 150 colour illustrations which cover just about every spectrum of the subject. These include sport, natural history, portraits, people at work, landscapes, close up, mood shots - and a great deal more. As I said, something for just about everyone.

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Oct. 16 2005
By Robyn
I just got this book for my birthday and over the last few days I have read it cover to cover. I learned so much that I had thought I knew but really didnt. This book helped me to become more confident in my abilities to not only correctly expose a photograph, but to 'creatively' and correctly expose a photograph. The pictures were very inspiring. This book is a must have for anyone who is a photographer. The book is easy to understand, yet detailed enough to give you the real picture. The exercises are very helpful. I will definately read this book again and refer back to it for a very long time to come, if I ever have questions about exposure!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get This Now March 27 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't given any thought to photography since high school, where I took it as one of my bird courses. I remember I had a lot of fun exploring the world through the viewfinder. So 20 years later, I finally picked up a dslr to remind myself just how much fun it was.

It didn't take long for me to realize that I was lost at trying to figure out the exposure settings with the light I had let alone the complexity of exposure settings that make the shot interesting. The internet is a good resource, but there's nothing like having a tangible book in hand.

Since you're reading this, you already know that this book has great ratings. Actually, it's invaluable for beginners and intermediate photographers.

I found this book at a large chain book store in Toronto, only to discover that it was half the price on Amazon. Thanks Amazon.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing writer and instructor. April 9 2007
This is an amazing book, I have 4 of Bryans Books and I have also taken 2 of Bryan's online classes with Perfect Picture School of Photography (PPSOP), he is an wonderfull writer and a super fun and creative online photography instructor. This is a must have book for all those of you how are just starting out in photography. He is very imaginative. Check out [...] online for more of Bryan's stuff, you won't be sorry.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, provides many helpful tips on getting exposure right.
This book has become a resource/reference book for as I encounter different photographic situations. Read more
Published 8 months ago by David Cuthbertson
5.0 out of 5 stars Improved my skills
I really like this book. It has certainly help me understand exposure and has greatly improved my photos. Well worth the read and purchase. Read more
Published 17 months ago by S. Fung
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Follow
I am only two chapters in so far and already feel completely comfortable with shooting in manual mode all the time. Topics I thought were confusing now seem so easy to understand. Read more
Published on May 4 2010 by Greg Pike
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE book to start with if you are taking the leap from point...
I love photography. However, up to a few months ago I have really been shooting in automatic and "P" priority mode; even though I used a digital SLR. Read more
Published on March 25 2010 by G. Papanikolaou
5.0 out of 5 stars great
very nice deals on most stuff related to the subject (ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture)... Good examples illustrated un photographs (some have a lot of grain in them but you can still... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2010 by Louis M. Carriere
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have a camera you need this book
You need this book whether you use a film camera or a digital camera. In either case your success in photography depends on manipulating light. That's what this book is all about. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2009 by Doral Hemm
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
good book, lots of info. pretty concise and goes through most of what you need to know to further your photography. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2009 by L. Frankowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a Must-Have!
I'm a beginner and I bought this book because of the good comments.

Let me tell you I was not disapppointed! Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2009 by S. Vaillancourt
4.0 out of 5 stars binding is weak
good photo examples but after not too much reading the binding seems to weaken. i'm scared to use it too much cause it seems like it will fall apart. Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2009 by JoeJoeB
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview
Great overview for a beginner. Truly Eye opening. Well-written. Not only does it accurately describes theory, but it also gives great tips to use "in the field".
Published on Aug. 2 2009 by A. Lallo
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