Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Book Review: Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

If you are new to photography and start looking around the web, you will find many references to this book. It's widely popular with the online photography community. You can order is at Amazon via this link.
I really enjoyed this book. Bryan does a wonderful writing job here. His chapters are fun and very enjoyable to read. He makes it a point to have you put the book down from time to time and go get your camera. He then walks you though using the camera's built-in light meter to make a properly exposed image.
When you first begin taking pictures, I think everyone shares the same excitement. You see something, grab your camera, click, and then quickly go to the image preview to see what it looks like. After a while, you begin to see other photos from other photographers. You will see a shot that makes you stop and think. You try to understand how they got such a good image. What did they do? Well, they got out of shooting in fully automatic mode and began to learn how the camera works in full detail. This is where this book comes in.
Bryan will immediately get you to move your camera out of any of the automatic modes and into full manual mode. I don't shoot in full manual all the time today. I usually use Apertuture Priority mode. However, manual mode is a great tool for learning hoe the various settings on the camera will effect your image. Bryan covers all the aspects of a properly exposed image. He then teaches you how to read the light meter within your camera and use that reading to properly expose your images. The results are great. You will notice an immediate improvement in your pictures.
Once you understand the concepts in this book, you can begin to experiment with making changes. You may want to intentionally underexpose an image to get a certain look. However, knowing the basics of how shutter, aperture, and ISO will effect the image is a must. This book will take you there.

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