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Photographing the World Around You: A Visual Design Workshop Paperback – September 1, 1994


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Paperback, September 1, 1994
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Key Porter Books (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550135902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550135909
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Freeman Patterson

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 107 people found the following review helpful By rodenfels@artnet.net on November 30, 1998
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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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By John Ellsworth on March 13, 2002
Verified Purchase
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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Charles T. Low on March 30, 2002
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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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By R.A. on May 27, 2002
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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