I have recently been a little vocal about some of the limitations of our study notes but there is no point floundering in ignorance. I have discovered Michael Freeman’s book Perfect Exposure which amplifies and makes clear the concepts and exercises that I have been puzzling over. I was a little disappointed that this book wasn’t listed in the Reading and Resource Appendix of our notes as a suggestion for further reading as it would appear that it is the basis for some of our notes. Certainly, the book describes in much more detail the technical and practical aspects of exposure, noise, hightlight clipping, rolloff and scene dynamic range than the course material does.
With everything that I was previously dismissing as ‘too hard’ now explained, I realise that many of the limitations of our course notes are down to the efforts made to précis them from a much clearer and more detailed source. The same was true of parts of The Art of Photography where I and several other students found that reading Michael Freeman’s The Photographer’s Eye gave us the understanding we needed to get past areas of the course notes that were far from clear.
I think that any conscientious student, keen to learn and fill in the gaps in their understanding would be happy to resort to extra curricular reading but not in order to make sense of core knowledge. In this area, our course study material should be adequate… its not like we have them as a back up to a lecture or class where we can listen to and question a tutor. They are the bedrock of our efforts to comprehend and learn and should fulfil all our needs. In this respect they are, at the moment, lacking.
So, what of Perfect Exposure? The book is brilliant. Far from being too deep or technical, I am finding that it is really hitting the spot to satisfy my need for a full and clear explanation of the problems associated with digital imaging. I would go as far as to suggest that it becomes required reading for any student of DPP. The only drawback I have found is that having purchased it as a Kindle digital ebook I would have been better off waiting for a paper copy which has many advantages over the iPad version… quicker to access, find sections, leaf through etc.