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Perception and Imaging Paperback – February 26, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0240802015 ISBN-10: 0240802012 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (February 26, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240802012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240802015
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,520,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Perception and Imaging needs to be read and studied by every photographer and digital imager interested in seeing. You want to learn how to see? Buy this book!' - Camera Arts

"Perception and Imaging is equally impressive and takes the reader to new places in the "mind's eye". After reading Zakia's book, you will probably look at the workd in a new and more enlightened way. But most important , you'll look at the individual elements in a scene much more carefully before you press the shutter release button becasue you'll think about how the viewer sees your picture." - Rick Sammon, Associated Press November 2000

From the Publisher

Dr. Zakia demonstrates how the eye organizes information through a wide variety of images including: photographs, paintings, sculptures, moving images, video, animation, digital imaging, computer displays, and multimedia. With an up-to-date discussion of such topics as subliminals and morphics, anyone creating visual images will benefit from this approach to perception. Each chapter concludes with a series of hands-on exercises. Although addressed to photographers and graphic designers, Perception and Imaging is intended for anyone seriously concerned in the shaping or making of visual messages and visual environments. All have a common purpose- visual communication and expression.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
Explains perception in great detail.
R. Lombardo
When asked about the value of books, the author Eric Hoffer, remarked that any book that provides the reader with one new idea, has great value.
Richard D. Zakia
This book gives a practical presentation of Gestalt psychology for photography and imaging.
Fredo Durand

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Appelbaum on January 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the second edition of Perception and Imaging, but is also the latest in a string of precursors that included the small-press "Perception and Photography" from the late 1970s.
This current edition adds almost 100 pages to the last. It explains why and how we see what we see. More, it provides the basis for the visual artist to take advantage and use that knowledge to make better images.
The printing is much better than the previous edition (thankfully) and the higher quality paper does away with the separate illustration section that the first edition required. The quotes from imagemakers in the margins (taken from two out of print Zakia works that should be back in print) are a valuable addition to the main text that helps provide a context for the material.
If you want to understand the psychology of visual images and visual messages, this is a unique book.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on May 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Most photography instruction books talk about equipment and subjects. Seldom is there a discussion of the psychological and physiological aspects of the photographer and the viewer in the process of creating and looking at pictures. This book attempts to fill that gap for photographers and other graphic artists with the aim of giving more impact to pictures created by those artists.
The contents are wide ranging, with everything from a discussion of Gestalt psychology field grouping to a discussion of the meaning of the "Kilroy was here" signs that proliferated during and after the Second World War.
Some of the material may be immediately useful to a photographer such as the discussion of figure and ground. Thinking in these terms may make it easier for the photographer to decide how, or even if, he wants to provide separation to his subject.
Other material will require a major mental engagement that could ultimately prove useful. For example there is a lengthy discussion of the use of rhetoric in photography. This will be a new concept for most photographers. Zakia suggests that rhetoric deals with structuring the photograph to alter its message in a certain direction. For example, the photographer can use the rhetorical device of identity to strengthen a picture through repetition. That device should be easily understandable to most photographers. On the other hand using dubitation for opposition (sic!) may leave the photographer wondering what the author is talking about. However, a close reading might reveal that considering this approach may lead to a stronger picture.
Finally there is material like the discussion of synesthesia, a situation where one experiences a sensual stimulus, like a sound, in another mode, like vision.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a nuts and bolts primer on how human beings make sense of the world they see. Anyone interested in learning more about visual literacy and the way pictures convey their messages would benefit by reading this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Stroebel on January 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Pete Turner's eye-catching photograph on the cover of Richard Zakia's Perception & Imaging, Second Edition, invites one to pick up the book and examine it, and the text and illustrations between the covers capture the reader's eye and the mind. The objective of the book is clearly stated in the author's preface: "Pictures, regardless of how they are created and recreated, are intended to be looked at. This brings to the forefront not the technology of imaging, which of course is important, but rather what we might call the 'eyenology' (knowledge of the visual process--of seeing).
The table of contents provides a good overview of the wide range of topics, which include both the theory and the practice of visual perception, that are covered in the eleven chapters. Some 300 illustrations provide reinforcing connections between the printed words and the visual imagery, and, of course, are indispensable to the discussion of many visual-perception concepts, such as Illusions and Ambiguity (chapter 6).
A unique feature of this book is the inclusion of some 400 concise and relevant quotations from almost that many sources, ranging from Ansel Adams and Aristotle, to Edward Weston and Oscar Wilde, that in addition to being interesting and illuminating by themselves, emphasis the universal significance of the related topic. The reader-friendly writing style of the author is a bonus.
Dr. Leslie D. Stroebel
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jack Bert on October 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book is a tour-de-force covering of human psychology and how it relates to photographic images. This sort of treatise has been done for screenplay writing where human mental principles are defined then shown how they affect storytelling. The author does the same for photography starting with Gestalt (grouping) psychology principles and then covering many others. Thus psychology principles that help photographers create and analyze photographs are given. This is not a book on camera technique but one one how a person experiences a photograph. Knowing how the mind of the photo viewer thinks really helps the photographer reach his/her photographic communication goal since the photographer can now press the correct psychological buttons to move the viewer's mind rather than relying purely on artistic intuition. I have a masters degree in filmmaking and this type of deep thinking into the photo experience is what I was looking for and the book delivers. Thank you author Zakia...one of the great photographic minds.
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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.

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