Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera

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Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817463007
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Introduction 8
Defining Exposure 12
What is Meant by "Exposure"? 14
The Photographic Triangle 16
The Heart of the Triangle: the Light Meter 22
Six Correct Exposures vs. One Creatively Correct One 24
Seven Creative Exposure Options 32
Aperture 34
Aperture and Depth of Field 36
Storytelling Apertures 38
Singular-Theme Apertures 48
"Who Cares?" Apertures 56
Aperture and Macro Photography 62
Aperture and Specular Highlights 68
Shutter Speed 70
The Importance of Shutter Speed 72
The Right Shutter Speed for the Subject 74
Freezing Motion 76
Panning 80
Implying Motion 84
Implying Motion While Zooming 88
Making Rain 90
Light 92
The Importance of Light: The Importance of Exposure 94
The Best Light 96
Frontlight 100
Overcast Frontlight 102
Sidelight 106
Backlight 110
Exposure Meters 114
18% Reflectance 118
The Sky Brothers 122
Mr. Green Jeans (The Sky Brothers' Cousin) 126
Night and Low-Light Photography 128
Special Techniques and Filters 136
Deliberate Overexposure 138
Double Exposure and Sandwiching 140
Multiple Exposure 142
Polarizing Filters 144
Neutral-Density Filters 148
Graduated Neutral-Density Filters 150
Film vs. Digital 152
ISO 154
Color 156
Pushing and Pulling 158
Index 160
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

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(42)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    Great book!

    I started shooting photojournalistc style shots for weddings with a professional photographer, and I really had no experience with photography. So I was totally lost trying to get the right exposure. This book explained it all to me. I had no idea how the apurture, shutter speed, ISO, and light meter all related to each other and this book made it simple and easy to understand.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2008

    simple to understand!

    i entered the world of dslr photography and felt a little overwhelmed by it all. this book by Bryan Peterson came highly recommended by many members of a photography forum. i was a bit skeptical at first about how a book could really help me out, but i was wonderfully surprised. this book is easy to understand, very thorough in its explanations, and full of beautiful photos to inspire. i would highly recommend this book for not only the newbies, but even for the more seasoned photographer who needs to refine some skills. wonderful

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    This is a must if you are starting out

    I am a beginner photographer and continually go back and re-read sections in this book. Even with today's technology, one really has to be aware of what the camera is metering and what adjustments you might have to make to have the picture turn out the way you intend. This is one of those books that everyone should read if they are interested in getting away from the auto modes and becoming more creative in their photography.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2009

    Worth every penny

    LOVE this book -- for the first time, I don't feel like I'm being talked down to, or that the writer assumes I am already a professional photographer. What I learned about exposure in the first 30 minutes of reading this book is more than I ever understood before in over 30 years of avid photography. The photograph illustrations and examples are very helpful, and numerous. This book is something any serious amateur photographer should have in his or her permanent library, and it would probably be good for the experts out there, too. It gave me great confidence and understanding, and has inspired me to get out and try some of the different techniques, which are really not "techniques" at all -- just understanding CORRECT exposure. Which, as he says, is what photography is about. Highly recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    VERY Informative Book!

    I had read a couple of other books on digital photography, although they were not specific to "exposure", but have to say that this book goes above and beyond those others (but they were good in their own rights). Bryan Peterson does an unbelievable job explaining the difference between a "correct" exposure and an "artistically correct" exposure. He gives you examples of what not to do, in addition to how to correct the problems - and doesn't just put perfect picures in the book to say "look how good I am". He breaks the different parts of exposure down so that even the beginning photographer - whether you wish to be a pro or not - can understand the different aspects of exposure. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is having trouble understanding exposure or wants to be a better photographer. Very well done, Mr. Peterson!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    This is the only book you'll need

    I have spent hundreds of dollars on photography books. If only I had known. This is the only book you'll ever need. Peterson brings everything together in a fun, easy-to-understand book that you'll read again and again. His knowledge of photography is outstanding. I'll never shoot in automatic mode again. Outstanding!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2004

    A GREAT READ AND RE-READ

    Easy to understand.I have been photographing for all most 20 years, but have never taken it seriuosly until after I read this book. The easy to understand principles have increased the outcome of my photos by leaps and bounds.I've read it twice and continue to use it as a reference to draw from.Thank you Mr. Peterson for setting me free from the snapshot mode.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    Very good for beginners

    The book takes time to explain photographic concepts such as exposure, aperture and shutter speed from the point of view of the absolute beginner, taking no amount of prior knowledge for granted. The painstakingly detailed explanations are a huge plus, but the many metaphors (bees, buckets and what-not) become superfluous after a time. Less repetition would be to the book's advantage. Otherwise a very well written, clear guide for beginners and re-starters. I enjoyed the little exercises suggested here and there, would've loved to see more of those. Another big plus: there are many absolutely gorgeous and inspiring images in the book that I enjoy going back and looking at every now and then.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2009

    Exposure explained!

    As a novice photographer, I found this book to be an excellent source for explaining and clarifying the challenges associated with exposure. Mr. Peterson provides numerous examples (situational and photographical) to demonstrate his determination of proper exposure. This book has answered many of the questions I could not find in numerous manuals or online searches. Absolutely recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    This book was great!

    I really enjoy this book. It gives insights into exposure for digital and film cameras that are easy to understand for a beginner but not so basic that an intermediate level photographer wouldn't enjoy or use. I usually buy such books just to use as reference material but I found myself reading this book page by page. I would definitely recommend this book as a purchase for yourself or as a gift to a photographer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    Just Great!

    This is a great book!
    From first pages I got involved in read-try-enjoy cicle. Simple, clearly understandable even for me with less than moderate English. Gives Understanding of Exposure indeed. This is the book I was missing to find a way to implement my creativity.
    Great appreciation to the Author.

    Artak

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2006

    This is THE photography book

    I've read photo web sites from top to bottom, dozens of photography books, and tons of magazines from cover to cover as well as taken photography courses to self-educate myself in the art of photography. This is 'THE' book that pulled all the information from other sources together and gave it meaning to me. I love this book and if you are still grappling with pulling all the pieces together I'd certainly recommend this book to you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    This Book Is A MUST HAVE

    This book taught me more on exposure, in the first 10 minutes of reading then ,a well known on line school taught in 8 lessons.Simple and well written,to the point...I all so bought his book on shutter speed,and in a few minutes, 2 more of his books....I shoot weddings and he has made it possible for me to spend a lot less time in the editing ,by getting it correct right out of the camera.......Mary Morris

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  • Posted October 6, 2010

    Worth its weight in GOLD!

    This book takes the reader from a few basics to the advanced seamlessly. Clear explanations for every photograph in the book and how to achieve the similar results. I began applying the techniques in this book and have the best exposure I've seen yet in my photographs! Bryan Peterson is very thorough in his lessons and very creative. A must for the serious photographer be it amateur, hobbyist, or aspiring pro!

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  • Posted December 10, 2009

    Educational

    Great book for beginners, Quite pleased.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    It's okay but there are better books out there

    Not very well laid out. Way too many pictures of his wife. Cheap printing makes the pictures look bad.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great for beginners!

    Terrific book. Full of great examples, and easy to follow exercises. I recommend this book for people who want to learn how to take photographs in the manual setting. This book helps you get the most out of your digital camera.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2009

    A must read for persons going to "manual" photography.

    Thsi book should come in the box with all cameras. It will ease the challenge of going from just taking pictures to "real photography."

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  • Posted March 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A very good book, I recommend it widely.

    A book that you must have with you all the time to read it over and over.
    It has many practical examples. It shows you how the same subject looks using different aperture or shutter speed. And gives a good explanation of how the depth of field works to make a photo looks great or bad. It has many ideas of projects to work on.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2009

    Foundational manual for anyone entering photography

    I bought this book to help me understand how a camera works, and what type of digital camera to buy. It did not help me pick a model in specific, but what it did do was help me understand how cameras work as a tool to allow individuals to create beautiful images. I found it an exceptional read and a very useful reseource.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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