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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me see in a whole new way
I've been around photography as an amateur and enthusiast for 20 years. Over that period of time, my interests have run the gamut from understanding the mechanics, to point&click, to just recording memories. I've read many books on photography and most of them concentrated on the technical details of the process while others described the author's exploits or...
Published on Nov. 30 1998 by rodenfels@artnet.net

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but limited advice
The book has some useful advice on how to distinguish shapes and the possible effect they have on people, as well as very intriguing samples of Patterson's own work, but is limited on several accounts.
My main issue with it is that it isn't quite the workshop it presents itself as. It does have some suggestions as to how to go on for creating a workshop yourself,...
Published on May 27 2002 by R.A.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me see in a whole new way, Nov. 30 1998
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This review is from: Photographing the World Around You: A Visual Design Workshop (Paperback)
I've been around photography as an amateur and enthusiast for 20 years. Over that period of time, my interests have run the gamut from understanding the mechanics, to point&click, to just recording memories. I've read many books on photography and most of them concentrated on the technical details of the process while others described the author's exploits or supposedly instructed you on how to sell your photos.
This is the first book that I've read on how to see. Patterson's approach to discussing the art of photography is refreshing and very helpful. His beautiful photographs not only please the eye, but are chosen to explain the concepts he writes about. His writing is engaging, instructional, and understandable.
His book has caused me to re-evaluate how I look at the world and how I create photos. It has finally helped me to understand that a good eye is not enough--that an understanding of visual design is important in making photographs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on composition and other related matters, Jan. 26 2004
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This review is from: Photographing the World Around You: A Visual Design Workshop (Paperback)
I have read both this book and Freeman Patterson's "Photography and the Art of Seeing" and much prefer this book. They are both good but this is definitely better. I bought this book to help improve my photo's composition and I am was not dissappointed. Freeman's text is clear and easy to understand and his photo's are generally good examples of what he writes about. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent approach to teaching _composition_, March 30 2002
By 
Charles T. Low (Brockville, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Photographing the World Around You: A Visual Design Workshop (Paperback)
And the thing missing in "other" photography books is a thorough treatise on composition. We all love to adjust our shutter speeds and f-stops, and this book does touch on that. But photographs are made or broken on composition, and that's what Mr. Patterson emphasizes in this book. Half an hour into his in-person seminar on this topic, I wondered how he could make it last a whole day - then I blinked, and the day was over. I had been transfixed. It began to make sense, and new possibilities began to unfold. There are lots of ways to think to about composition, but Freeman's is the best and most thorough one I have seen. I love all his books, but this is my favourite. He does get a bit mushy - but that's OK - he knows what he's talking about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stop looking, start seeing, March 13 2002
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John Ellsworth (Northport, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Photographing the World Around You: A Visual Design Workshop (Paperback)
According to Freeman Patterson, you don't have to travel far to take engaging photographs. Try your back yard, or one of the rooms in your house. The trick is to learn how to make a photograph, rather than take a photograph. Too many photographers look for an existing "photo," then take it. Patterson suggests that you learn to "see," to look at common objects in an uncommon way.
Patterson helps us to see better by teaching us the building blocks of aesthetic image making, these being light, tone, color, shape, lines, textures, and perspective as well as dominance, balance, proportion, and rhythm. Patterson carefully explains these elements while clearly illustrating his points with numerous photographs. Once you understand these elements, you will be in a better position, literally and figuratively, to make more engaging photos.
In a congenial and clear writing style, we learn to visually explore a subject. Patterson encourages us to shoot much film, sometimes exhausting a roll or two on one subject as we circumnavigate its aesthetic possibilities. He illustrates this approach with images of his own, for instance an "elongated oval shape" created by the sun that highlights the curving peak of a black Stetson hat; or images of a rising planet and an aurora occurring within a clear glass paperweight.
Freeman Patterson takes the reader on a trip of visual exploration; all while being reminded how to assemble the building blocks of visual design to create expressive images. This book is truly among the pathways to a more creative self.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A course within a book, Jan. 13 2012
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This review is from: Photographing the World Around You: A Visual Design Workshop (Paperback)
Freeman does a very good job on this book. He always was creative and diverse and in this book he uses both plus the theory of design and visual art to give a comprehensive book on just what make for good composition. Freeman teaches around the world and has essentially taken his courses and condensed into this book. so read slowly so you understand as you move along as one building block build upon the previous. Enjoy this book twice first as a quick read with all the wonderful images. Then again as a slow study digesting a page perhaps even just a paragraph at a time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but limited advice, May 27 2002
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R.A. "jhbierce" (Miami, Fl United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Photographing the World Around You: A Visual Design Workshop (Paperback)
The book has some useful advice on how to distinguish shapes and the possible effect they have on people, as well as very intriguing samples of Patterson's own work, but is limited on several accounts.
My main issue with it is that it isn't quite the workshop it presents itself as. It does have some suggestions as to how to go on for creating a workshop yourself, but the guidelines are rather sparse. Granted, getting a concise workshop into a book for a topic such as photography is probably impossible (this isn't trigonometry, where you can easily compare your answers against the correct ones in the back) - nevertheless, it shouldn't be advertised as a "workshop between covers" if it is mostly a "learning to see" book.
What this book does (teaching you to think your composition over before pressing the shutter) it does well. But if you're looking for a workshop, you might have to look elsewhere.
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