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Perception and Imaging: Photography--A Way of Seeing Paperback – July 9, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0240809304 ISBN-10: 0240809300 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 3 edition (July 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240809300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240809304
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a book on photography and seeing, not just for those who capture and create images, but also for those who use them and write about them. Richard Zakia has a way of writing about photographs that is practical and relevant to how we see things.
With many examples of important photographs, paintings and advertisements, he reminds us that we don't often see all that there is to see. Instead, we tend to limit ourselves to seeing what we expect to see, thus missing the richness of many photographs.

Take, for example, my photograph of "Push”, which is on the cover of Zakia's book. One might look at it and dismiss it as just another photograph of a trash can on a beach. But read what he had to say about it. You will be surprised and delighted by what you will learn and be able to apply to your own photography.

I found this book highly interesting and challenging, and I recommend it to anyone working in photography or related visual disciplines. -Pete Turner

One of the many outstanding features of "Perception and Imaging" is its irresistible friendliness. The layout is engaging, the illustrations varied and absorbing, the quotations from artists delightful and provocative. Whether you are looking for technical information, historical data or graphic challenges you will find it here in an easy-to-access format. Dr. Zakia's vision is all-encompassing: he is equally familiar with a 2000-year-old Sicilian mosaic and the latest in digital concepts. You don't want to miss this one.
-Corrine Whitaker

About the Author

Richard Zakia is a 1956 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Some of his classmates at the time were Carl Chiarenza, Peter Bunnell, Bruce Davidson, Ken Josephson, Pete Turner and Jerry Uelsmann. Minor White was a member of the faculty and Beaumont Newhall was Adjunct. It was a great and enriching mix. After graduation he was employed as a photographic engineer in the Color Technology Division of Eastman Kodak. During the Sputnik era he decided teaching was his vocation and accepted a position with RIT where he served for 34 years. For a time he was Director of Instructional Research and Development and Chair of the Fine Art Photography Department and graduate program in Imaging Arts. He is a recipient of the Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award. Zakia has authored and co-authored thirteen books on photography and perception. He is also the co-editor with Dr. Leslie Stroebel of the third edition (1993) of The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography and a contributor to the fourth edition (2007). His most recent book is Teaching Photography with Dr. Glen Rand.
Richard Zakia is a 1956 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Some of his classmates at the time were Carl Chiarenza, Peter Bunnell, Bruce Davidson, Ken Josephson, Pete Turner and Jerry Uelsmann. Minor White was a member of the faculty and Beaumont Newhall was Adjunct. It was a great and enriching mix. After graduation he was employed as a photographic engineer in the Color Technology Division of Eastman Kodak. During the Sputnik era he decided teaching was his vocation and accepted a position with RIT where he served for 34 years. For a time he was Director of Instructional Research and Development and Chair of the Fine Art Photography Department and graduate program in Imaging Arts. He is a recipient of the Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award. Zakia has authored and co-authored thirteen books on photography and perception. He is also the co-editor with Dr. Leslie Stroebel of the third edition (1993) of The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography and a contributor to the fourth edition (2007). His most recent book is Teaching Photography with Dr. Glen Rand.

More About the Author

Richard Zakia is a 1956 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Some of his classmates at the time were Carl Chiarenza, Peter Bunnell, Bruce Davidson, Ken Josephson, Pete Turner and Jerry Uelsmann. Minor White was a member of the faculty and Beaumont Newhall was Adjunct. It was a great and enriching mix. After graduation he was employed as a photographic engineer in the Color Technology Division of Eastman Kodak. During the Sputnik era he decided teaching was his vocation and accepted a position with RIT where he served for 34 years. For a time he was Director of Instructional Research and Development and Chair of the Fine Art Photography Department and graduate program in Imaging Arts. He is a recipient of the Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award. Zakia has authored and co-authored thirteen books on photography and perception. He is also the co-editor with Dr. Leslie Stroebel of the third edition (1993) of The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography and a contributor to the fourth edition (2007). His most recent book is Teaching Photography with Dr. Glen Rand.

Customer Reviews

I did the same with Zakia's book on perception.
Irving Pobboravsky
Oddly enough, I think this book doesn't guarantee good photographs, but gives you a good set of tools and techniques to teach yourself and eventually get there.
X. Xu
Some of them are overly and uselessly technical, some are little more than tautologies, few are actually useful or stimulating.
Andrea B

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Tom Brody VINE VOICE on July 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is not specifically directed to photography. The book is an elementary book on the psychology of perception and vision. The book is suitable for a college freshman or sophomore art class. The chapter titles are:

1. SELECTION.
2. GESTALT GROUPING.
3. MEMORY AND ASSOCIATION.
4. SPACE, TIME, AND COLOR.
5. CONTOURS.
6. ILLUSION AND AMBIGUITY.
7. THE MORPHICS.
8. PERSONALITY.
9. SUBLIMINALS.
10. CRITIQUING PHOTOGRAPHS.
11. RHETORIC.

APPENDIX A. ADDITIONAL CONCEPTS.
APPENDIX B. ANSWERS TO SELECTED EXERCISES.
APPENDIX C. ADS FROM THE PAST.

Essentially every page contains a figure. There are plenty of color figures. Many or most of the figures are quarter page figures or half page figures. The quality of the color figures is excellent. Only a handful of photographs in the book are from famous photographers. There is one picture by Dorthea Lange, illustrating a girl with balloons, her image centered between certain round objects on the wall behind her, a photo by William H. Jackson, showing repeated sandstone shapes, a photo by Edward Weston illustrating the technique of grouping, a picture by Henri Cartier-Bresson depicting symbolic association, a photo by the author (R.D. Zakia) showing biomorphic shapes (shapes in nature that resemble human forms), a photo by Man Ray, showing similarity between a woman's back and a violin, and several others.

One wonders why most of the examples in the book are from graphics, oil painting, advertising, or from generic photographs. The year is now 2007, and there should be no shortage of photographs created by famous photographers, e.g., Dorthea Lange, Joel Sternfeld, Marion Post Wolcott, Martin Parr, etc., for use in teaching all the lessons shown in this book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Irving Pobboravsky on July 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
My reaction to Richard Zakia's 3rd edition of his Perception and Imaging book was two-fold. It was at the same time an intriguing visual delight and a classic in the field of visual perception. The majority of the 410 pages have black and white or color images illustrating a wide range of perceptual concepts that are clearly described in the text.

I'm an ardent photographer fascinated by images. So much so that when I open a New Yorker magazine I first look at the cartoons and then the photographs. If the photographs that accompany an article are sufficiently intriguing or powerful I cannot help but read the article. I did the same with Zakia's book on perception. When it first came I flipped through it looking at the images. If I was puzzled by an image or if it posed a question in my mind I read the accompanying text. This happened time and time again. I found some images totally surprising. For example I couldn't understand why an ad was included showing a wine bottle in a bottle-shaped wicker basket. To find out why it was included I read the text and when I looked at the ad again I realized there was no bottle there! Only a bottle label and a bottle cap. Because of the visual clues I saw a bottle when there was no bottle there. The ad was included to illustrate the concept of closure.

The above sneaky example made me to realize that if I wasn't careful I might learn something. I commend this book to others interested in visual perception with the caveat that if they aren't sufficiently careful they also will learn something. And they will be delighted.
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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Andrea B on December 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
I know that I will draw a great deal of critique for this review, but personally i did not find this book worth my time.

For how well it might be written, for how easy and understandable the examples might be, for how precisely documented it is, it does not have what I was looking for in it: a partly theoretical and partly practical toolbox to expand my creativity when I create an image.

The text is, as I said in the title, little more than a collection of well-catalogued, wide-ranging information regarding different fields of perception. Some of them are overly and uselessly technical, some are little more than tautologies, few are actually useful or stimulating. I could not find any reference, for instance, to "the rule of the thirds" (which might not be the ultimate principle of composition but is still an important starting point) but on the other hand there were more than a dozen paragraphs on colour notations and names, constantly moving between the obvious, the superfluous and the merely technical.

On a sidenote, I do not understand why American writers in general assume that their readers have the attention-span of a goldfish and try to fit everything they have to say on an argument in half a paragraph, only to start a completely new one immediately after. It doesn't help, it creates unacceptable over-simplifications.
Teaching is not made of putting on the table individual information, sweetened by a profusion of quotes and aphorisms. Teaching is a sequential activity, it involves a long propaedeutic phase, it entails the creation of foundations and builds upon them to get in the end to the real content. A book that teaches well cannot be accessed randomly at any page without missing any context. Useless to say, this one can.

Andrea B., Verona
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