Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Understanding Exposure (Book Review)

I recently got the book "Understanding Exposure (Revised Edition)" by Bryan Peterson.

The following is the text from the back of the book:

For anyone who finds the concept of exposure overwhelming and confusing, this book demystifies the subject, making it easy to grasp. Author Bryan Peterson explains the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, and explains how to achieve successful exposures in seemingly difficult situations, including those involving backlight, low light, overcast weather, and motion. All the information is relevant, whether you're using film or digital cameras...

I found all the above to be true. Most of the information covered in the book, I was exposed to in the photography classes at Edison. However, he has a way of presenting things in an understandable manner that I find refreshing compared to some of the other books I've read.

There are plenty of tips and photo's to illustrated the points. I have found it a worthwhile book to add to my growing collection. I found the authors concept on using the sky for light metering certain situations very interesting. The following is from the book concerning the Sky Brothers:

Oftentimes when shooting under difficult lighting situations (Sidelight and backlight being the two primary examples), an internal dispute may take place as you wrestle over just where exactly you should point your camera to take a meter reading. I know of "no one" more qualified to mediate these disputes between you and your light meter than the Sky Brothers. They"re not biased. They want only to offer the one solution that works each and every time. So, on sunny days, Brother Blue Sky is the go-to guy for those winter landscapes, black Labrador portraits, bright yellow flower close-ups, and fields of deep purple lavender. This means you take a meter reading of the sunny blue sky and use that exposure to make your image.

When shooting backlit sunrise and sunset landscapes, Brother Backlit Sky is your go0to guy. This means you take a meter reading to the side of the sun in these scenes and use that reading to make your image. When shooting city our country scenes at dusk, Brother Dusky Blue Sky gets the call, Meaning you take your meter reading form the dusk sky. And, when faced with coastal scenes or lake reflections at sunrise or sunset call on Brother Reflecting Sky, meaning you take your meter reading from the light reflecting off the surface of the water.

Shutterbug did an interview the Bryan about the book. Click on the following link to check it out: ShutterBug Interview with Bryan Peterson

I would recomend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of exposure and is looking for creative ways to use it.

All pictures used for this post were taken by the author, Bryan Peterson.

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