I am relatively new to photography and have been struggling to master a fairly complex camera (the Nikon D300). As such, I have spent a good deal of time reading "the literature" on cameras, imaging, photography, etc. While some of this information might be of marginal utility to my ultimate success, I had grown weary of the mundane, the boring, and (especially!) the poorly written. This was my perspective when Mr. (Freeman) Patterson's book was among my latest haul from the local library. What a refreshing and pleasant surprise!
Finally I am reading a book that actually makes sense to me! Here is a man who has something of real substance to say and much to contribute to my understanding of this new-found passion! Mr. (Freeman) Patterson distills a measured quantity of insightful information into brief, terse, to-the-point chapters that have been incredibly inspiring to me. He provides suggestions and alternatives that explain the "what" and the "why" as well as the "how." This is NOT one of those thinly-veiled, vain offerings that purport to teach but only contain page after page of images that are boringly similar to those of the last 'author' I happened to consult. Nor is it one of those endless 'cookbooks' that tend to spit back exactly the same content as the manual that came with the camera. No. Mr. (Freeman) Patterson skillfully incorporates a few of his own well-chosen images to enhance his text. In fact, he does this so conservatively that one image often serves to illustrate several examples -- a feature that I found especially appealing.
If you wanted to see many examples of Mr. (Freeman) Patterson's work then this is not the book for you (although I see that other choices are available for this). If you wanted instruction on exactly which button, dial, or setting to use on your camera this book will not be a good choice. BUT, if you have finally gotten those dials, settings, and buttons sorted out and are really ready to start exploring that marvelous machine in your hands then I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
I have decided that I cannot bear to part with this book when it must be returned to the library; shortly I will purchase my own copy (and I can say this about very, very few recent 'photography' books). In fact, I see that he has an entire set of instructional volumes similar to this one. Likely all will make it to the shelves of my library soon. I have even visited his webpage ([...]) and have discovered that he offers seminars that extend the content of this and his other instructional books. I suspect that one day I may get to meet him; I have printed off the application and brochure and now need to go in search of coins between the sofa cushions!!
This book is one of a very few that I will likely want to consult regularly and reread as my photography matures. If you have managed to wade through the dribble that is so plentiful you, too, may be ready for Mr. (Freeman) Patterson.