Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson: a review

Before cameras became automated, photographers needed to understand their camera’s controls, and the way they interacted, in order to take pictures with any pretense to sophistication. While modern cameras offer programs which can control these interactions, many photographers would benefit by investing a few hours in this book.

This is not exactly a beginner’s text. The expected reader has some familiarity with photography and wants to better understand and master their camera. Advanced users may find the book useful as a review, and may find a tip or two they’d not previously seen, but may find some of the explanations annoying. That’s OK, as they’re not the intended audience.

This book does not get into great technical detail, but does explain the controls and their relationships, and makes suggestions about ways the photographer can benefit from their interactions. The author advocates a specific photographic manner (style, perhaps, is too strong a word) which readers can use for a practical foundation until they develop their own habits and preferences.

Finally: The author assumes your camera gives you full manual control of exposure–that you can set ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. If you own a camera which doesn’t give you that much control, you may find this book frustrating.


This review was originally published on LibraryThing.