Book Review: Understanding Exposure

Understanding Exposure is a newly revised 4th edition of Bryan Peterson’s most popular book. In total, this book has sold over 1,000,000 copies, making it one of the most successful photography books ever. Is this new edition worth adding to your photography library? David Hay has the review

The book is divided up into four main chapters covering Exposure, Aperture, Shutter Speed and Light. Additional chapters cover Special Techniques, such as polarizing filters, neutral density graduated filters and multiple exposures, as well as the use of electronic flash. The author first added coverage of HDR and electronic flash in edition 3 and the coverage of flash has now been increased further in edition 4. Apart from that, the majority of the text is similar to previous editions, but all the illustrations have been renewed in edition 4.

Teaching exposure
Bryan Peterson has a very distinctive style of writing, as if he is talking to you personally. He uses novel ways to explain familiar concepts. ISO becomes ‘worker bees’. The more bees you have carrying light to the sensor, the brighter the image will be. He describes the ‘sweet spot’ lens aperture by pouring milk on an upside down bowl. If you use a wider aperture, only some of the milk remains in the base and the excess spills down the sides. It is a world away from the normal ...

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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