Advanced book on exposure techniqes

Driven by my thirst for knowledge, :smile: I've been looking for a good, advanced and technical book about exposure techniques.
This is clearly not an easy task, since a quick online search makes it clear that, in this context, "advanced" means vastly different things to different authors and readers.

Based on lots of online recommendations, I ordered Peterson's book but it's beginner level. I enjoy Freeman's writing style but his book receives varying reviews and it's hard to tell the level of it's intended audience.

I owned or at least read a few of Ansel Adam's books back in the 60's (and hopefully absorbed at least some of it) but I can't remember that far back with any clarity so perhaps "The Negative" is worth re-reading?

Can anyone recommend a good, in-depth book which moves beyond the usual "expose for the highlights" or "make the best use of your histogram" type of information?



Mu-43 Top Veteran
Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua
Thanks Robert,

I have that book but haven't had a chance to read much of it yet. I bought it after I became interested in off-camera flash. What I've read so far is excellent.
What sort of techniques are you after? With the instant feedback and liveview of modern cameras, I would have thought that there wasn’t much extra to know. OTOH, I may be missing something.
Hi Jeff,

I completely agree but I generally approach (interesting) things with the attitude that you can't know everything and there's always something else to learn.
Perhaps in this case though, you're right, which is why I can't find any other suitable books.
We've never had it so good. Every time I use my D800, I wish it was the EM-1. Being able to adjust exposure and see what is happening is brilliant, and the latitude of today's sensors is such that my grads are gathering dust somewhere. Coming from the film generation, I always try to get the exposure right in the camera. I still think that it is a worthwhile approach, and worthy of a lot of practice. The idea of 'I'll fix it' in post' always seems odd to me. With all the technology we have today, why not get it right up front.


Mu-43 Veteran
I completely agree but I generally approach (interesting) things with the attitude that you can't know everything and there's always something else to learn.

You definitely have the right idea with that attitude. As I have matured I have learned my younger self photographer was arrogant and I over-looked the importance of TRULY understanding the basic's of a camera. Now I always assume there is something more I can learn just about everything camera/photo related. That being said, I dont have a book recommendation for you (as Im more of an article to article kind of guy) just applaud for your attitude towards learning.:clap2:
Both your comments about film and understanding the basics are right on target.

Before I stopped using film many years ago, I had lost interest in my SLRs and even in colour and bought a Mamiya 6 x 6 TLR and a good meter and just concentrated on B&W. I found it very satisfying to use a camera with absolutely no bells and whistles which encouraged me to, as you say, get the basics right. Trying different metering techniques and then having to wait until the negs came out of the developer is where my interest in exposure was born.

From a purely practical perspective, I've been spoilt by the battery life on Nikons and I don't think I'll be able to get away with much chimping on the EM-5. :rolleyes:


Mu-43 All-Pro
Have a look at Freeman Perfect Exposure

It defines 12 different types of scenes (high key, low key, low contrast, etc.) describing where and how to meter for each case, what to expect from the histogram, etc. It's quite boring, but interesting. The topic is exposure and nothing else.

IMO there are not much "advanced" concepts here (like ETTR tricks for example) but you can think about this as a collection of detailed case studies that can help you to see the "usual concepts" (metering, gray 18, avoid clipping, etc.) applied.

I've read Peterson book too and it's very basic and wide compared to this.