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Understanding Flash Photography: How to Shoot Great Photographs Using Electronic Flash

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  169 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
From a master of professional photography, a book thatexplores theexciting possibilities of artificial light.
This guide to on- and off-camera flash picks up where Peterson's previous title, Understanding Exposure, left off--helping free photographers from the limitations of auto to get the images they want when natural light isn't enough. For the many amateur photographe
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Amphoto Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jul 15, 2012 Alicia rated it really liked it
A pretty solid overview of flash photography. Honestly, flash has been soft of a trial and error thing for me, so it was nice to put some real logic to it. The example photos in this book were not quite as inspiring as his images in Understanding Exposure, but they got the point across just fine. Peterson does a wonderful job at explaining things; you really can't go wrong with his books. This book concentrates on speedlites, both on and off camera. It doesn't get into very advanced techniques, ...more
Feb 12, 2017 Abbie rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it, non-fiction, click
As much as I loved Bryan Peterson' book about exposure, this one wasn't quite as good. A lot of it seemed really dated to me and I simply did not get as much out of this book as I thought (hoped) I would. Still not a bad read if you want to learn more of the nitty-gritty on flash. He does a great job of explaining his thought process for choosing camera and flash settings.
Jan 31, 2016 Robert rated it it was ok
Though I consider myself a serious photography hobbyist, I never, if possible, do flash photography. My pictures at this year's Christmas celebration show why. But I have come to realize I should work to make myself more comfortable with flash photography . . . not the flash attached to my camera but an off-camera flash. And though a serious hobbyist, I am a raw beginner when it comes to the remote flash. So I did some reading of reviews on various Canon Speedlite flashes and decided the best pu ...more
Mar 28, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-photography
I find Peterson's books to be much more informative than McNally's . Both are easy to read, due to how they craft their books. Peterson explains things more thoroughly and more clearly than McNally seems to and is easier to understand, which is important when delving into the technical aspects and considerations of off-camera flash photography. Don't get me wrong, McNally has his own place, but I can borrow his from the library - Peterson's books have earned permanent bookshelf real estate in my ...more
Sep 29, 2015 Jereme rated it really liked it
This is the book that finally helped me get my head around flash photography. Peterson clearly and simply explains what you need to know and then drills it into your head over and over again, gradually adding more advanced techniques (though never too advanced). This book isn't the ultimate flash resource, and there's some disappointment once you realize your flash doesn't have the same distance scale he relies on so heavily, but it's a great starting point for anyone looking to do more with the ...more
Feb 05, 2012 Thaths rated it liked it
For years I've wanted to learn more about flash photography. The strobist instructions went over my head after the first couple of paragraphs. This book finally gave me a better understanding of the basics. Especially for the type of photography I am into. The strobist seems to emphasize work with multiple strobes - something I would never do.
Krusher Basta
Feb 24, 2013 Krusher Basta rated it really liked it
Shelves: photography
I have read several of Bryan Peterson’s books and this one, like all the others, was very helpful. He writes at a level that a novice photographer, such as myself, can understand. He enhances the instruction with great set-up and before and after pictures. I am excited to get out and use my new flash.
Jan 20, 2014 Patrick rated it it was amazing
I loved all the examples and how each picture was itself a smalls story. Guides to technique as well some theory behind how it all works was well mixed together. Some part get a bit repetitive and sometimes corny, but overall I feel this really helped me understand flash photography better
Aug 12, 2012 Cyrus rated it liked it
Good book. Explains how to use "manual" flash which was never very clear to me in the past. So after reading the book I have come to realize that "manual" flash is not that intimidating though I think I will continue to use TTL flash.
Feb 18, 2012 Danielle rated it liked it
Shelves: photography
I like Bryan Peterson's books a lot, and. I've learned a lot from this book, but his assumption that all flash units have a built-in distance guide makes me crazy. My SB600 does not. Good for learning theory but it's not as easy to get flash right as he portrays.
Jan 17, 2012 Reed rated it really liked it
If you are a photographer and haven't yet discovered Bryan Peterson, you are missing out.

Bryan understands the technical nature of photography and has a gift for explaining it in a conversational manner. Peterson proves that you can use flash almost anywhere.
R. J
Sep 29, 2011 R. J rated it really liked it
Shelves: photography
For me using a flash can be challenging. Peterson provides so much information that I'll have to read through his book another time to absorb it all.
Dave Hood
Oct 12, 2013 Dave Hood rated it it was amazing
Useful if you want to use an off-camera flash as fill light or for lighting effects
Gerald Chong
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Sep 28, 2015
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Feb 17, 2012
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Bryan F. Peterson has been a full-time commercial photographer since 1981, shooting assignments all over the world for many of the Fortune 500 companies, including Kodak, UPS, and American Expiress. He is also a contract stock photographer for Corbis and Getty. He has been a contributing editor at Outdoor Photographer Magazine and is currently a contributing editor at Popular Photography and Imagi ...more
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