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Showing 1-10 of 47 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 76 reviews
on December 2, 2015
great photo book to get started on exploring the 4 basic skill of taking picture which are more than snapshots. Use this with my 35 mm work years ago ( 1994 on advise of a Cannon rep and I dont use Cannon)and bought again after starting to work with digital . Most of the same principles apply with digital or 35 mm.
Now you should know that I won 1st place in a art museum photo contest and can say it was because I used this book for several months before I got that shot. It was a structural shot of the sub structure of a 1100 ft bridge as it was in the process of being built. I would not have had anything but a snapshot if it had not been for what this book showed me. Also got a magazine over shot and 2 runner up wins for other shots of cranes and boots of men working in concrete. Be patience, use the theory of the book, and your pictures will be more than snapshots too. Would buy again .
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on March 27, 2014
It's as if Patterson wrote this book with me in mind. I'm a whiz when it comes to understanding technical things and probably know as much about how to work a camera as anyone but when it came to "seeing" the shot it just wasn't there for me. So armed with expensive gear and knowing how to use it I was able to take what amounted to pretty snap shots. This book has started me down the path of seeing and feeling the shot and the results are already evident. My images already get more likes and thumbs up than ever before. I shoot fewer shots but have more keepers and my confidence is growing.

To anyone considering this book I say buy it, read it and do the exercises he recommends. It's a real difference maker!
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on November 3, 2016
A classic by a much venerated Canadian landscape photographer. While there are a myriad sources of advice on cameras and image processing software, great photography begins with Seeing. Freeman Patterson is one of the few who teach - and are qualified to teach - the importance of seeing in creative photography. If you want to make great photographs, do not worry about your camera or your computer skills. Instead, learning how to see the world as a photographer.
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on February 1, 2014
I prefer this 4th edition over the 1st edition, which I bought some years ago, and which set me on a course not only of making pictures but also of enlarging my world and calming my soul. I know that attribution of so many lessons to one book is quite generous,yet it is a remarkable book.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE ART OF SEEING remains, in my experience, the book most worthwhile for anyone who wants to appreciate the world and his or her place in it. It is a wonderful book about perception and creativity, cooperative study, and learning. It is effective because it is clear and its discussion is simple without being simplistic. It offers effectively organized activities to help improve various aspects of seeing, and incidentally, to help one understand the aesthetics of imagery, description, and photography.

This edition really has been revised so that people who are picking up a DSLR, but have not used a film SLR, can benefit from it. Such was really not true of the first and second editions of the book, since Freeman Patterson photographed with film long before changing to digital. (I admit that I appreciated his books at first because of my heritage as a film photographer.) In revising PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE ART OF SEEING, Mr. Patterson has widely avoided discussion of technology. Rather, he has dealt with the philosophy, psychology, activity of creative image-making. As a result, one can use the book's exercises whether one works with digital or film media.

As a bonus, one gets Mr. Patterson's genial prose and some of his wonderful photographs. He seems to be a kind artist, and that is a real compliment, I believe.
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on September 26, 2016
This is one of the best books I have read regarding making a great photograph. The author presents a step by step way to improve the way an image is captured. This is not a technical manual. It is a look at how to transform the way a photographer sees the world. I have been making photographs for over 50 years and this has been a wonderful learning experience for me.
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on May 12, 2005
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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on August 27, 2016
I've been reading Freeman's books for decades and have learned a great deal and been inspired to follow my dream further with every book. This book is simply 'a must read' book for any photographer who wants to do more than documentary work. While this is an easy read in the sense of language used, it is very challenging. You can read it quickly and get lots of good ideas and move on or you can read it carefully, study and practice what Freeman is giving us, and become much more adept at engaging your audience.
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VINE VOICEon March 18, 2009
This is an instructional book on photographic seeing rather than a how to book on making pretty pictures. If you are looking for a cookbook on how to take vacation snaps, pass this one by.

This is a book to assist you in seeing photographically. Its exercises help you see the extraordinary in everyday items. Often a great photograph is great not due to the subject matter, but the manner the photographer treats that subject matter. This book is designed to boost your sensitivity to the wonderful within the mundane which surrounds us.

Ironically, the book was written during the film era but it's a book meant for the digital age. Many of the exercises demand a lot of shooting - costly with film - no cost in digital. Also the feedback loop is instant with digital rather than hours, days or even weeks with film. Thus what you try to achieve is immediately available in digital which makes the lessons / exercises more effective today than when the book was written.

Probably not a first or second book to learn photography. This book assumes you know how to set your aperture and shutter as well as what ISO is. It probably should be in every serious photographer's library.
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on November 9, 2011
This is another wonderful book by the award winning photographer, Freeman Patterson. There are many books that teach technical photography but the challenging part is in creating pleasing graphic designs. This is the subject matter of this book and it boils over with the author's enthusiasm. The book starts out with a chapter on Learning to Observe. The author lists the inevitable rules but then explains how to break free from the rules and provides examples, exercises and his own images demonstrating what he is teaching the reader.

This is followed by a chapter on Learning to Imagine in which he teaches to manipulate, in your mind, what you observe through using your imagination, abstracting and selecting. Again the reader is challenged with exercises to practically learn the techniques. The rest of the book is dedicated to discussing the elements of visual design including light, shape, texture, perspective colour, patterns and many more.

In summary this is an excellent book if you are looking to improve your artistic capabilities as a photographer.
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on March 28, 2013
I received this book last week and I find it well written. I am a semi-professional photographer and I am always looking for materials that might assist me in my creative thinking. This book is exactly what I was looking for. There are some really great exercises that a photographer can do to "think outside the box". This is not a how-to book on photography and assumes you have mastered the technical aspects of aperture, shutter speed, ISO for exposure and for depth of field management, etc. However, the book provides insight as to how a "creative" photographer might think or approach a subject in unconventional ways. I would recommend this book to the serious amateur who is looking to elevate the quality of their creative photograph images!
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