Peterson writes like a teacher, one of your favorites maybe, the one with the knack for using simple stories to clear up complexities. He starts slowly, explaining as he goes so that you can easily keep up. He hangs memorable tags on abstractions, neatly parsing aperture scenes into three types ("storytelling", "who cares" and "single theme") so that by the time you get a few chapters in, you can already start filling in his tags before he's finished. Success.
I like that he ties theory to his own photography too, showing just where in a view he takes his metering, and why. He suggests exercises, he explains every (gorgeous and well printed) photo in his book. His method is basic, and it works. I tried all the exercises twice, and read each chapter twice too, just letting the ideas sink in. It took me a few weeks to finish, just to make sure I got it.
And it worked. I did get it. I understand exposure; shutter speed and aperture are no longer mysteries to me. Depth of field, no problem; light metering, a cinch!
At least in theory. Whenever I understand something better technically, it takes time for that technique to show up. I start thinking too much, and thinking kills my ability to see. Or maybe it's the ton of snow and children demanding sledding time. No pictures, Mommie!
Everyone needs their excuses, right?
Even Understanding Exposure. It is a fabulous all around introduction, but I did miss a few things. Peterson skips focal length completely, and he rushes through filters as if the bell were about to ring. (Really rushes, it's sort of startling).
Still, if you're just getting to know your DSLR, or want to know what to do with the M setting on your better-than-a-snap-and-shoot, I'd check the book out. I gave Understanding Exposure a 5 star review on Goodreads, and I also gave it a kiss* when I finished. High praise indeed ;-).
If I'm not working or hanging out with our 10 year old while a bouncy 5 year old dances around us, there's a good chance I'll be hammering away on our piano, reading a book or trying to sketch. I live in Prague, Czech Republic and hail from the U.S. South.