When we write about good photography books and learning about exposure, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is usually at the top of list. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it even for beginners. In fact, it’s offered each month as a prize in the Photobird Photo Contest.
There are many other good books out there for learning photography, and the Photographer’s Exposure Handbook by Jack Neubart is one of them. If you’re new to photography or just looking to fine-tune and enhance your skills, consider the Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.
In his book, Jack Neubart covers a huge range of topics and provides tips on all of them, from “The Color of Light” to “Light, Texture, and Form”, to using light meters, to using and understanding different kinds of flashes, and then using all of these tips in practical, real world situations. Keep in mind that with a book of 192 pages, it’s not going to be able to cover everything about a given topic, especially with all of the topics that this book covers, but it will certainly get you headed in the right direction so you can learn more from your own experience and future research.
In his chapter entitled “Exposure in Practice”, Jack Neubart writes about photographing pets and wildlife. In one paragraph that caught my eye, he writes: “My cat, Prudence, initially taught me something very important about exposure by virtue of her shiny white coat. Back then, I was shooting black-and-white film, except that all my pictures of her were coming out gray. So, I explored the problem and eventually resolved it by increasing the exposure. Before long, I had also learned a lot about cat behavior and made an effort to learn how other animals behaved. I picked up a few tricks along the way — a good deal revolving around patience, understanding, and observation.”
Later in the section, under “Patience and Timing”, Jack Neubart writes: “With my cat, I would watch for the tail to twitch. Careful observation may also reveal that the pupils dilate the instant before pouncing. Watch the signs. After a few times, you’ll know exactly when to release the shutter. You’ll develop the same catlike reflexes as your pet.”
Photographer’s Exposure Handbook by Jack Neubart could be the dark horse of photography books. It doesn’t get mentioned a lot, but it’s very well written, is very easy to read, covers an enormous number of topics, and has gorgeous photos throughout the book. It costs less than $20 at Amazon.com and would make an excellent gift for yourself or the budding photographer you know.
Photographer’s Exposure Handbook is published by my favorite book publisher, Amphoto Books, which also publishes Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. Understanding Exposure is listed as a prize each month for the Photobird Photo Contest, but the winners actually get to choose a book. Winners may choose one of the books listed on the page at http://amphotobooks.com ; click the book covers and if “Amphoto” is listed under the ISBN number at the top, then the book is available as a prize. The following books are also available as prizes:
- Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait
- Hands-On Digital Photography
- Night & Low-Light Photography
- The Art of People Photography
- Beyond Portraiture by Bryan Peterson
- Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman
- Baby Face
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