- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Amphoto Books; 3rd Revised ed. edition (August 4, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607748274
- ISBN-13: 978-1607748274
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography 3rd Revised ed. Edition
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About the Author
BRYAN PETERSON is a professional photographer, internationally known instructor, and founder of The Bryan Peterson School of Photography at www.BPSOP.com. He is also the best-selling author of Understanding Exposure, Understanding Shutter Speed, Understanding Close-Up Photography, Understanding Digital Photography, Beyond Portraiture, and, most recently, Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography Field Guide. His trademark use of color and strong, graphic composition have garnered him many photographic awards, including the Art Director Club's Gold Award and honors from Communication Arts and Print magazines. When not teaching workshops around the world, Bryan makes his home in Seattle.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's not that this is a poor book. The author talks about the elements of photographic design like line, shape, form, texture, pattern and color. Unfortunately he doesn't link these elements to the photographer's vision. It's as if one knew nothing about tools, had a plumbing problem, and was presented with a wrench. It would be nice to be told how to use the wrench to solve the problem. If you know how to relate the tools to the problem, you don't need this book.
He also talks about composition and guidelines like the rule of thirds, or frame within a frame. But even here, he doesn't make the connection to vision. Even the chapter called "Expanding Your Vision" turns out to be a discussion of the characteristics of lenses of different focal lengths.
There are chapters on digital photography and photographic careers but they look like they were added on to the work because somebody thought that was what would help the book sell.
Peterson's photographs are good. When he explains why he made the design and composition choices for a particular picture you can see some relationship of technique to vision. It's also interesting to occasionally see a comparison of the same subject handled two different ways. But unfortunately the author doesn't take the opportunity to relate similar pictures to photographic vision.
This might be a good enough book for the intermediate photographer who isn't really ready to work on his or her vision, although I much prefer Brenda Tharp's "Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography" which covers the same ground in a more concise way.
One might think that you can't teach someone to see creatively. That may be true, but Freeman Patterson's old standby, "Photography & the art of seeing" comes a lot closer than this volume. And books like those by Galen Rowell or Tony Sweet do a much better job of relating technique to the visions of their authors.
I like that the author limits itself to what you can do with a camera, with limited post processing.
I read the book in combination with Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure". You need that book to fully understand and appreciate "Learning to See Creatively". The combination I'ld like to rate with 5 starts as the two books together give a very good and compact overview of the technology of photography, followed by the creative view.
It feels a LITTLE (VERY LITTLE) outdated. With the break-neck pace of digital photography, I am not sure that you could ever truly have an up to date book. The book is written by a person that sounds like he shot a lot of film, but I would say EASILY 99% of the book is generic for anyone that shoots film OR digital. I really like how he talks about how he uses photography as his business, and discusses how much he has made on some pictures. It was a real eye opener.
What I really liked about this book, is that it was easy to read. The concepts were broken down well, and it had that elusive entertaining quality.
I have dabbled in photography throughout the years, and consider myself an amateur.
Update: (4/1/2011) A few years on in photography, and this has become one of my go-to books for inspiration. I'd recommend starting with Understanding Exposure (or Understanding Digital photography) and then get this book a little later, if you are a neophyte. This book specifically but all of Mr Peterson's books in general give great ideas on how to take a "creatively correct" picture. It is such an amazing concept to understand, and once you do, the doors of your photographic vision open. I honestly can't recommend this book enough.