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
October 16, 2013
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