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Photography and the Art of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop for Film and Digital Photography Paperback – October 27, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Photography and the Art of Seeing by Freeman Patterson is a super new book for beginners and advanced photographers alike. It is easy to push a button and take a picture, but it is a lot more difficult to "make" a creative image, and this well written book will take you through the steps of the thinking and doing that part of it. The book not only includes beautiful images, but also technical info on what it takes to create such images, no matter if you are using film or digital cameras. (Nature Photographers Online Magazine 2011-04-01)

Patterson gives guidelines to help photographers improve their visual thinking and develop their imaginations, emphasizing what he calls "good seeing." ...Patterson gives personal examples from his experiences, along with exercises on learning how to observe... He also covers effective expression, abstract thinking and principles of visual design. For anyone wanting to move away from some tired visual habits, the exercises and topics of this book should encourage experimentation and a new way of observing. (Jenny Montgomery Photo News 2012-05-01)

Updated and expanded to include technical guidelines adapted for both digital and film photographers. The jargon-free text provides techniques and innovative exercises for breaking with traditional concepts of design, enabling the photographer to develop a keen awareness of subject matter and a direction for composing the picture. It also offers a workshop for all visual artists that includes lesson on the fundamental of perception and overcoming obstacles in their work. This edition features several never-before-published photographs...and extended captions that include valuable technical information and personal commentary. (Ginette Lapointed PhotoNews 2011-12-01)

About the Author

Freeman Patterson has published twelve books and won numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Nature Photography Association. Freeman lives at Shamper's Bluff, New Brunswick, an ecological reserve of over 200 acres, which he recently donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books; Fourth Edition edition (October 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554079802
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554079803
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for experienced photographers and beginners alike.
Paul Wood
I'm positive that by time I'm done with the book it will have made me a better seer, maybe not a better photographer, but I will see things in new and exciting ways.
J. A. Jacobs
In this book, Freeman applied the "visual design" through the framing and composing technique -the art of seeing.
Sarawoot Chittratanawat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

254 of 259 people found the following review helpful By D. Booth on May 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought "Photography and the Art of Seeing" knowing nothing about it. I had not even heard of the author, Freeman Patterson. I had a certain expectation based on current photography books of the same genre, but what I found is a book beyond compare.

I would recommend this book to any level of photographer with a desire to truly express themselves through their photography. You won't come away with a list of rules and instructions about when to apply them. Nor will you end up with a cheat sheet of camera settings that achieve particular effects. If you are open to it, however, you will learn new ways to look at, think about, understand, and portray the world you see through the lens of your camera; you will become more empowered to express yourself in your photography.

I was happily surprised that this book is more about photography than it is about the author. Certainly he includes many personal experiences to explain himself and his work, but he does so without the self-aggrandizing rhetoric of similar books. You really begin to feel as if you are part of his process, rather than someone he is trying to impress, as he describes his approach to his work.

And the photos! While they are exceptional, this is not a book to flip through, pause for the pictures, and then put on a shelf. Instead, it lives up to an important word in the subtitle, "workshop." You may never attend an expensive workshop with an accomplished photographer. But Patterson generously provides a workshop that includes intriguing, mind-expanding exercises all for the cost of this book.

Yes, I love this book! So much so that I've ordered two more of Patterson's books, and I can hardly wait to get started on them.
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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful By KiwiExpat on November 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Please don't buy this book. It will change your photography. I bought it, and now I have an advantage, and I want to keep it!

Seriously, this is probably the most disturbing photography book I have found. It will challenge everything you do in photography, and that is unsettling.

If you follow the exercises properly, you will develop a whole new way of seeing and taking photos.

Sure, if you want to, you can read it from cover to cover and go "Ho, hum, very nice." and take it no further. But if you want to improve your photography, take your time, and do the exercises carefully. You will be surprised at the results.

I especially like the one where you lock yourself in a small room (bathroom) and have to take 20 images. "If you don't feel desperation before you finish this exercise, then you have to take another 20 photos."

Don't buy this book! Run away and hide. Keep taking boring photos.
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By TheGonz on October 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is full of exercises targeted to open your mind to new ways to see and new ways to make a picture too. You have to have some spare time and patience to spend on some of these exercises, I have just made two of them with great results! This book is totally different to what you normally expect from a photo book as you don't only get some technical details but also the author's philosophy which reveals his passion for photography.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By tomh on September 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been using cameras for a long time, so I mostly know how they work. But I was looking for guidance and inspiration on how to make my photos more emotionally compelling. This book really hit the sweet spot for me.
First, it discusses and describes important concepts of composition with what I thought were excellent examples, as well as beautiful photographs. While most other books talk about basics like the rule of thirds, leading lines, etc, Art of Seeing goes much further into compositional elements.
But as important is Mr Patterson's clear love of the medium and ability to convey how to see in many different ways. I have been practicing this summer, and am finding now that many more of my images are worth something -- many just helping me understand where I went wrong so I can continue to improve. This book helped me find the subjects that are hidden in many otherwise ordinary things.
My only criticism of the book is that on a personal level I am not as interested in highly asbstract subjects that are a large part of the images in the book, although I will say that there is one shot of trees from an airplane that had me entranced. But this kind of subject makes sense for a book focused on composition.
I really learned a lot from this book, and highly recommend it.
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Sarawoot Chittratanawat on April 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Freeman Patterson is an artist with camera in his hand. All of this books are not limited to the "talking-of-equipment" nor "exposure setting". Instead, Freeman gives you the visual design; then, you address what you see + what you design on film. In this book, Freeman applied the "visual design" through the framing and composing technique -the art of seeing. Unlike other photo books, this book shows you more on composition of shape and color, not much on equipment. Thus, the gear-luster may found this book is inferior to others. I, however, found this book is a requirement after you master the exposure and gear. Several workshops are given in this book as well as the evaluation techniques that I found very useful. Like other Freeman's books, many nice photo are provided for your joy and learn.
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