Book Review: Mastering Exposure

David Taylor is a prolific author of practical photography books with over 30 titles to his name. In this book he tackles the complex subject of exposure and how to master it. David Hay has the review

The book is well designed and neatly laid out. The text is broken up into short informative pieces with tips added at intervals in separate boxes. The quality of the varied illustrations is generally high and they have been well chosen to illustrate a point, rather than just to fill up the space.


The book is made up of eight chapters covering subjects such as Exposure Basics, Controlling Exposure, Creative Exposure, Practical Exposure, Filtration, Flash and Postproduction. Like his book on Mastering Landscape Photography, which was reviewed recently in LPM, this book contains an initial chapter on photographic equipment. I would prefer to see more space devoted to the main subject rather than a discussion on the different types of cameras and lenses on the market. I presume a photographer wanting to learn more about exposure will already have a camera outfit. Perhaps it is a requirement from the publisher to include an equipment chapter but this is the part that dates any book most quickly because digital cameras are replaced so frequently these days.

The rest of the chapters are comprehensive and give detailed, unbiased advice on how to get the best results from your equipment. They are obviously written by a working photographer with a lot of experience.

The author correctly advises that you should get the exposure as near as possible to correct at the time of shooting rather than try to fix it later in post-processing. “All postproduction work is a form of destruction: a gradual whittling away of the image data captured by the camera at the time of shooting” says the author. He also recommends that bracketing should be used sparingly and only when the ‘correct’ exposure is difficult to determine. He goes on to say that “some situations require an instinctive way of shooting. This is mainly when events move so quickly that you don’t have time for a considered approach”. In this situation he recommends using ...

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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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