Photographing the World Around You Paperback – May 10 2004
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Photographing the World Around You
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The book is very successful at providing a kind of "grammar" of visual design, while being careful not to discourage innovation. I find it an excellent resource for anyone who, like me, is interested in moving past taking snapshot and postcard type shots, into truly artistic images.
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.
In the first chapter, Freeman encourages us to take risk, to explore, to be free from rule and principle. I think this advice is wonderful. If everybody taking images the same way, the same exposure, than the creativity will die. Great photography is not just about technical, it is also about creativity.
The next two chapters are the heart of the book and heart of photography: The building blocks of visual design and Putting the building blocks together. Freeman discusses about ingredients photograph (light, line, shape, texture, perspective), the meaning of each elements , and how to combine it together to make a great photograph.
This book is not an usual photography books which shows many eye-catching, digital processed photographs, but the books consists of images, which help us to understand what Freeman is talking about.
Freeman also assumes that readers are familiar with technical aspect of photography such as exposure, lens, cameras and so on. So if you are looking for a book that can teach you about how to operate your new Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black), you need to look for another technical book.
This book is great for reference, inspiration and refreshment. It is library material and I highly recommend this book for photographer on all stage. Please check out my blog (inside my Amazon's profile) for more book and photography equipments reviews.