Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies
Shoot Like the Pros!
Order at Amazon.com.
You want to be a better photographer. Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies will show you how. Put more pizzaz in your people photography. Create dynamic landscapes. Make eye-popping flowers photos. Add some drama to your wildlife images. Tackle sports photography. Discover the wonders of closeup, night, and low light photography.
Whether you are a beginning or an advanced photographer, Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies will show you how to dramatically
improve the quality of your images. This book is about exposure (which is very important) but it is also about a whole lot more. It will show you the simple things the pros do to turn ordinary snapshots into great photos (and plenty of advanced techniques too). You will be a better photographer!
On this page:
The Strip, Las Vegas
"There's 'bite-sized' information, which doesn't prove too much to take in, and plenty of images to accompany the text." (Digital SLR Photography, January 2011).
"... this is a breakdown of the subject of exposure explained in concise chapters, complete with pulled-out top tips and notes." (Digital Camera Essentials, January 2011)
"... clear layout and accessible writing make this a good buy for photographers." (Amateur Photographer, February 2011).
"Full of top tips for exposing your images correctly ... delivers exactly what you would want it to." (Digital Photographer, February 2011).
Great Gray Owl, Michigan's Upper Peninsula
The Fun Stuff You Will Explore
One Light Portrait
Is your thing portrait photography? Or maybe you just want to learn how to take better photos of your family and friends. There are lots of suggestions for metering, lighting, posing, using lens focal lengths and perspective control, indoor and studio portraits, and a lot more. And you don't need a lot of fancy equipment. The photo above was taken with a single household light bulb. There is also information on lighting from natural light, to using a simple flash (both on and off camera), to using a full set of studio lights.
If your thing is flower photography, there are lots of ideas in the book to make your flower photos stand out from the crowd. You will learn how to take control of your camera in tricky lighting situations that will fool your camera meter (like the backlit photo above). You will explore how to use different focal lengths effectively. You will experiment with camera positions since a few feet, or even a few inches, can make a dramtic difference in your photos. You will learn creative uses of depth of field for including the landscape around the flowers and how to make everything but the flower a gauzy blur.
Denali (Mt. McKinley) at Reflection Pond, Alaska
More photos are taken of people and landscapes than anything. Hordes of people hop out of cars, vans, and buses to take photos of a grand landscape, and many of them go home with snapshots that are just like billions of other snapshots taken every year. Learn how to take landscape photos that stand out from the crowd, the kind you would be proud to frame hang on your living room wall. You will discover the simple things the pros do to create memorable landscape images. You will learn how to work with the light rather than fight the light. As you explore the intensity, quality, direction, and temperature of the light, you will know what kind of photos will and won't work in each lighting situation. A whole new world will open up to you. Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies will show you several ways to master depth of field to create the "artistic look" you want. Suggestions for working with time and location and well established landscape techniques will give you the edge in your landscape skills.
Pika in the Tundra, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
It happens a lot. Someone shows off a photo and says, "See that little speck there? That's a _______." (Fill in the blank with the animal of your choice.) Wildlife photography can be a challenge. Animals are unpredictable, they don't stay put like mountains and trees, and they won't pose for you like your friends, and they are rather reluctant to let people get close to them. But there is good news. You can learn how to find wildlife, how to get closer to them (without stressing them out), and how to meter and overcome other technical challenges to take some impressive wildlife photos. And you don't have to break the bank to buy the equipment you need to get the job done. Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies will show you how, teach you some of the tricks of the trade, and help you avoid the terrible inconvenience of being eaten alive.
Cougar, Wilderness Prairie Park, Illinois
It's only hard until you know how. A tripod and a little bit of knowledge will help you capture images that most people think are hard to do. You won't need "lightning quick" reflexes or any special equipment to capture lightning bolts in the sky. It is all in knowing how.
Lightning Over Yukon, Oklahoma
There are all kinds of things you can do to open up the world of night and low light photography. Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies will be your key. Simple steps will guide you along the path to making complicated photography much easier to understand. Whether it is capturing the Northern Lights in Alaska or fireworks over the Las Vegas Strip, you will know what to do.
Northern Lights, Denali National Park, Alaska
Fireworks, Las Vegas
The Technical Stuff You Will Master
Mastering the technical stuff will empower your art!
If you want to be your best, learning the technical stuff will set you free to explore the creative side of photography. If you don't learn the technical side of photography, it will get in the way of creating the kind of images you want to create.
The foundation for better images is to master exposure. Parts I and II of the book cover the basics and then leads you through some advanced exposure concepts and techniques that many books don't even mention. The exposure information in Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies is one of the most clear, detailed, and comprehensive you can find in a single photography book. There is a special emphasis on the artistic potential that is unleashed when you understand how to take control of your exposure options.
Why learn about exposure? Why not let the camera do it all?
For three very important reasons:
1. Sometimes your camera gets it all wrong! Despite all of the wonderful, whiz-bang technology in your camera, there are times it will totally miss the right exposure, and the times your camera meter gets it wrong are often the situations with the most dramatic potential. An example is this pair of photos below. In the photo on the left, the camera made the exposure decision. In the photo on the right, I made the exposure decision. Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies will guide you through tricky exposure situations so you will know in advance when the camera will be fooled and what to do about it.
2. Every exposure decision is also an artistic decision! If you don't master exposure, you will never reach your full artistic potential. There are multiple combinations of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO speed that will give you exactly the same exposure, but very different artistic "looks". Knowing which combination to choose can make the difference between a great image and a disappointing one. If you leave your camera on auto exposure, you have turned the artistic decisions over to a computer chip. If you take control of exposure yourself, you open the door to all kinds of creative and wonderful possibilities in terms of exposure, subject motion, and depth of field (the "near to far" sharpness in an image).
Point Iroquois Lighthouse, Michigan's Upper Peninsula
3. There's magic in the creative side of exposure. Your camera is designed to give you "average" exposures but the average exposure isn't always the best creative exposure. Sometimes the technically correct exposure isn't the best artistic exposure. Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies will show you when you need to take control of the exposure process and how to do it. Knowing when to override the camera's automatic exposure with a better creative exposure can make the difference between an ordinary looking photo and a beautiful image you will be proud of.
Sailboat at Sunset, Lake Michigan
Part I is devoted to the scientific side of exposure, all of the technical ins and outs of exposure, subject tonality, and metering. It starts with the basics and quickly takes you to more advanced techniques. You will learn multiple ways to determine the exposure so you can choose the technique that you like best in each situation. That way you can develop your own exposure style, the style that works best for you. After all, the way another photographer likes to work, may not be the way you prefer to work. This book gives you multiple options.
Part I also includes some specialized and mostly inexpensive metering tools to make your photo life simpler and easier.
Some of the Metering Tools Covered in Part I
Part I also teaches you the language of light so you know how to work with the light instead of fighting the light. You will learn what kind of weather and atmospheric conditions are likely to produce the best light for the images you want to create. You will know how to use the color temperature, direction, quality, and intensity of the light to enhance your images. Part I gives you a solid foundation that prepares you for Part II, artistic side of exposure.
Moon and Yucca, White Sands, New Mexico
Part II introduces you to the artistic side of exposure. It shows you how to make the best choices of apertures, shutter speeds, and ISOs for the kind of creative results you want. If you want to freeze a fast moving subject, or create long artistic blurs, you will know how. Thanks to the creative use of shutter speeds, you will learn how to create images that reveal things that are too fast for the human eye to see, or so slow that the camera records the passage of time in a way that our "instant snapshot" eyes can't capture.
The Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada
You will develop the know how and skills to use aperture, focal length, and focusing choices to create eye-popping depth of field (the near to far sharpness in an image) so everything looks sharp from the grains of sand inches in front of the camera all the way to the distant horizon. Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies has two chapters on depth of field with 40 pages of tips and information, plus some advanced techniques that many exposure books don't even mention, much less cover in depth.
White Sands New Mexico at Sunset
Or you can minimize depth of field so you can isolate your subject against a background of soft, blurry colors, like these Shooting Stars.
Shooting Stars in the Rain, Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Whether you want a lot of depth of field, a little, or something in between, Chapters 6 and 7 in Part II will show you how to do it
Part II also introduces you to the wonderful world of flash and shows you how to use flash as a primary or secondary light source, and how to mix flash and ambient light.
A Mixture of Off-Camera Flash and Ambient Light
Parts I and II are both filled with lots of photo exercises that you can do close to home so can you master the skills you need to be a better photographer.
When you've mastered exposure, depth of field, light and lighting, you can get out there and take on the big wide world of real life photo situations that are covered in Parts III and IV. They are about the fun stuff we looked at at the beginning of this article. Here's a quick look at the contents.
Parts III and IV are the "go out and do it" sections. You will learn the simple things to do (and a few complicated ones) that will make a big difference in how your photos look.
Part III shows you great ways to improve your people, wildlife, landscape, flower, and sports photography. You will learn 18 ways to improve your people photography; how to find, safely approach (for you and the wildlife), and photograph wildlife; how to master the light, direction, shape and texture in landscape photography; and a whole lot more.
Part IV introduces you to the specialized and wonderful fields of close-up and low light photography. You will learn how to choose the right aperture, shutter speed, and ISO combinations to shoot landscapes by moonlight, freeze the stars in the night sky, and create star trails.
Part V is the infamous Dummies "Parts of Ten" which covers ten photographic mistakes that can cost you (saving you from a lot of grief), and ten accessories that will make your life simpler and/or improve your photography.
Coyote, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
What The Professionals Say About
What can this book do for you?
"I've recently discovered a book that helps photographers truly understand exposure , and that knowledge can dramatically improve the quality of your digital photos. The book is Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies, authored by Jim Doty, Jr., and published by Wiley. This book provides you with everything a photographer needs to know in order to truly understand exposure and how it affects the original capture." (Tim Grey, digital photography expert, author of a dozen photography books and hundreds of photo magazine articles.)
"Loved this book, and the author's easy to follow writing style. I am a professional photographer, and was given this book as a gift. It is a great reference book, and an awesome tool for learning." (Jennifer Blakeley, the talented creator of Alphabet Photography and beautiful portraits at Jennifer Blakeley Photography. She is nationally recognized in Canada for her human alphabet project with Gymnastics Canada and the 2012 Olympic Team.)
"As a photo teacher for over 30 years, I only wish this book had been available earlier. In a heart beat I would have assigned this book as text for all of my photo classes from Basic Camera to Advanced. (Jim Lehman, photography instructor and creator of the Black Cat Exposure Guide.)
"I have long enjoyed photography both as part of my vocation, and as a rewarding avocation. What I found was that Doty's book helped me understand how to better understand and control the dimensions of photography that distinguish mere snapshots from true artistic expressions. (Jim Hannah, professional photographer and former magazine editor.)
Read more reviews from professionals, advanced photographers, and beginners (and a longer version of the above reviews).
Small Boy in a Blue Hat
The Teaching, Workshop, and
Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies grew out of years of experience teaching photography to photographers of all skill levels. The author's faculty experience includes the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Graceland University, and The Ohio State University. The ideas, concepts, and exercises in Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies have been tested in classes, workshops, and seminars, and just as important, they have been honed in hundreds of hours leading photography field trips and providing individual, practical instruction to photographers of all experience levels. As you read this book, imagine the author at your side, providing the same kind of valuable help that has been provided to hundreds of other photographers.
Girl with Candle
The Camera You Will Need
Warning: Some point-and-shoot cameras make it difficult to control exposure which can
lead to endless frustration. Even worse, some point-and-shoot cameras give you no control at all over your exposures. If your camera is holding you back artistically, you
may need a better camera. If your camera is getting in your way and you want a better camera, don't say you weren't warned.
Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
What If You Shoot film?
Despite the title, this book is still for you. Many of the photos in the book were shot on film (including the photo above of Mt. Sneffels). The principles of exposure are the same for both film and digital photography, even if the application is a little different. 95% of this book applies to film photography.
A Final Thought
Brainard Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado
Photo Accessories As promised in the book (Chapter 18 - Ten Accessories to Make Your Life Easier), Chapter 18 is being expanded here on my web site into an Accessories Section with additional content and more illustrations. Enjoy!
Teasers. These articles will give you an idea what you will discover inside the book.
They are short online versions of the more comprehensive and detailed information in the book.
Reviews of Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies.
What the pros say about Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies.
"Least Chipmunk, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado
Howitzers, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NT
A Gallery of Photos
Natural Light Portrait
Window Light Portrait
Casual Outdoor Portrait
Studio Light Portrait
Shannon Miller, Olympic Gold Medalist
Dusk, Mo'orea, French Polynesia
Mt. Hunter from the Air, Denali National Park, Alaska
Paintbrush, Aspen Bole and Evergreen Needles, Colorado
Yellow Fringed Orchid, Bishop's Bog Nature Preserve, Michigan
Star Trails, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Neon Pizza Sign
November 9, 2010
Copyright © Jim Doty, Jr. All rights reserved.