When I made the big decision to buy my first DSLR camera (a Nikon D80), I knew I would need some help understanding how to use it. Even though I knew absolutely nothing about how the camera worked, I learned many key concepts from two outstanding books by Bryan Peterson.
An understanding of exposure will instantly improve your photography and help you grasp other photographic principles. The first book, Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera, is simple to follow, yet thorough in its explanations. Throughout the book, Peterson expertly breaks down the relationship between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed by explaining them as a triangle in which all 3 concepts work together. His explanations kept setting off light bulbs over my head as I had numerous “I get it!” moments. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and promise it will be one of your most treasured resources as you learn photography.
Learning to See Creatively
Reading Understanding Exposure gave me an appreciation for Bryan Peterson’s ability to teach and got me excited to tackle another of his books, Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color and Composition in Photography. While the first book was more technical and dealt with using an SLR camera, this book captivated me by explaining the artistic side of photography. With examples from his own photos, Peterson beautifully shows how colors, lines, shapes, textures, and patterns draw our eyes. He also explains why we are attracted to certain compositions and how we can incorporate them into our photos. Several friends had told me that photography would cause me to see the world differently, and this book helped open my eyes to that new world I had been missing for 20+ years.
I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. Photography is a never ending journey of learning and discovery and these two works should propel you on that journey. Happy reading and feel free to contact me if you have any questions as you learn.