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Bryan Peterson: On a Mission To Create Better Digital Photographers

After more than 30 years of shooting a wide range of assignments for clients, such as American Express, BP, Kodak, UPS, Philips, Intel, Microsoft and Citibank, it’s no wonder that Bryan Peterson is overflowing with photographic insights and creative techniques. These are clearly evident whenever you see his images, since his are always defined by a vivid color palette and graphically intense structure. Not only have his photos resulted in highly satisfied clients, but also the recognition of his peers and the industry in awards and feature positions in top photography and print magazines.

He has been using his great fount of knowledge to pursue a second career in photography, as a bestselling author and teacher. His first six books totaled almost a million units in sales: Understanding Exposure, Understanding Shutter Speed, Understanding Photography, Understanding Close-Up Photography, Learning to See Creatively and Beyond Portraiture. His latest book, Understanding Electronic Flash, was released in August 2011, and has pushed his book sales well beyond one million.

Although some thought Bryan had made a mistake when he wrote Understanding Exposure at the reading level of a grade-school primer, it proved to connect with more photographers than most of the more technical explanations of the subject. The best part of this book for many photographers is learning the distinction of “correct” vs. “creatively correct” exposure. Peterson readily admits that program mode, shutter priority or aperture priority mode, makes it easy for most photographers to capture properly exposed images. He says this is one of the great technological triumphs of the digital photography revolution.

For those photographers, however, who want to put the creative control in their hands, they need to learn how to use the right combination of aperture and shutter speed for the creative vision they are trying to achieve. In a sense, the same scene provides multiple opportunities to shoot it entirely differently than the “default” exposure of the program mode. True creativity occurs when the photographer decides which aperture and shutter speed to use. He or she is then able to turn a standard “infinity” landscape, for example, into one that emphasizes something of beauty and interest in the foreground, with the background as just an accent.

During the 10 years Bryan Peterson lived in France to take a break from photography, he started Picture Perfect School of Photography. Peterson conducts workshops throughout the world in small groups of just 8 students. He leads them on photography adventures in places such as Angkor Wat, Cambodia; Dubai; India; Singapore; Italy and many U.S. locations. He says most of his students already have a grasp of the fundamentals, and have created good to very good images with the basics. What they usually lack is new and exciting subject matter and a better understanding of composition.

According to sources, Bryan Peterson shoots with the mid-range Nikon D300 DSLR camera, proving, once again, that creative photography has more to do with the person holding the camera than what camera he or she is holding. It appears he shoots mostly with the Nikon 12–24mm f/4.0G and also likes the Nikon 24–120mm f/4.0G and 70–300mm f/4–5.6G IF ED.

 

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