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The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos [Paperback]

Michael Freeman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
Price: 12.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Jun 2007
Design is the single most important factor in creating a successful photograph. The ability to see the potential for a strong picture and then organize the graphic elements into an effective, compelling composition has always been one of the key skills in making photographs. Of course, digital photography has brought a new, exciting aspect to design first because the instant feedback from a digital camera allows immediate appraisal and improvement; and second because image-editing tools make it possible to alter and enhance the design after the shutter has been pressed. This has had a profound effect on the way digital photographers take pictures. The Photographers Eye shows how anyone can develop an eye for seeing great digital photos. The book explores all the traditional approaches to composition and design, but crucially, it also addresses the new digital technique of shooting in the knowledge that a picture will later be edited, manipulated, or montaged to result in a final image that may be very different from the one seen in the viewfinder.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: ILEX; First Edition edition (11 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905814046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905814046
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 23.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Michael Freeman, professional photographer and author, with more than 100 book titles to his credit, was born in England in 1945, took a Masters in geography at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and then worked in advertising in London for six years. He made the break from there in 1971 to travel up the Amazon with two secondhand cameras, and when Time-Life used many of the pictures extensively in the Amazon volume of their World's Wild Places series, including the cover, they encouraged him to begin a full-time photographic career.

Since then, working for editorial clients that include all the world's major magazines, and notably the Smithsonian Magazine (with which he has had a 30-year association, shooting more than 40 stories), Freeman's reputation has resulted in more than 100 books published. Of these, he is author as well as photographer, and they include more than 40 books on the practice of photography - for this photographic educational work he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture. He is also responsible for the distance-learning courses on photography at the UK's Open College of the Arts.

Freeman's books on photography have been translated into fifteen languages, and are available on other Amazon international sites.

They are supported for readers by a regularly updated site, http://thefreemanview.com

Product Description

Review

'When I first heard about this book I wondered how a topic like composition would take 190+ pages to cover - but the above six chapters do it really well and provide readers with lots of ideas, examples, theory and lessons. I particularly like that this book is not just about theory or compositional rules - but challenges the reader to look at their own intentions and processes. I particularly enjoyed chapter 5 on intent which I'd never given much consideration to previously.

The images in this book complement the words very well. Not only do you get photos but also a variety of diagrams (including some helpful line diagrams) that illustrate what you're seeing in the images by reducing them to lines and shapes. This gives the examples a lot more usefulness as they are effectively unpacked before you.' 9/10 --Darren Rowse, www.digital-photography-school.com

About the Author

Michael Freeman is a renowned international photographer and writer who specializes in travel, architecture, and Asian art. He is particularly well known for his expertise in special effects. He has been a leading photographer for the Smithsonian magazine for many years, and has worked for Time-Life Books and Reader's Digest. Michael is the author of more than 40 photographic books, including the hugely successful Complete Guide to Digital Photography and The Photographer's Eye. For his photographic educational work he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture. He is also responsible for the distance-learning courses on photography at the UK's Open College of the Arts.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
127 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One worth buying 3 Nov 2007
Format:Paperback
I'm not usually a fan of books by Michael Freeman but when I received this book, I was pleasantly surprised. It covers the basics concepts of composition in-depth with more clarity than his previous books.
The book covers areas such as; graphic photographic elements (horizontal lines, vertical lines, curves, motion etc) composing with light and colour (colour in composition, colour relationships, muted colour, black and white) intent (reactive or planned, simple or complex, clear or ambiguos)
The book has a great and careful selection of photos to support the text and clearly illustrate the concepts covered.
Don't let his previous books stop you from buying this one.
Enjoy!!
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249 of 257 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is the best single volume on visual design and composition in years. Painters need a book this good. Freeman's earlier book from the 1980s, "Image," had long held the status, IMHO, of being the best single volume. His new book surpasses the older one by a significant margin.

Freeman is one of very few photographers, or artists of any ilk, who can articulate their art-related thoughts in concrete, accurate, analytical ways, and not in the jargon of so much of what is written about art that lacks any actual content. Not only is he an outstandingly gifted photographer, with dozens of books to his credit, but one who has mastered the grammar of images and is one of the few who can describe how and why visual phenomena work.

This is the most complete volume on this subject out there in terms of numbers of topics introduced and discussed at a reasonable length. It is also the most effective melding of the insights of current Gestalt perception theory with traditional design elements/principles in print. The first 60% of the book deals with the more concrete aspects of designing an image.

The last two chapters marry the other part of composing that is harder to articulate well: the message in a image, or the photographer's intent. Only in this book has an author attempted to define major categories of intent in making an image. And then categorizes the physical and mental aspects of how a photographer goes after, constructs, or recognizes an image - the process.

Throughout the discussions he introduces those aspects of digital imaging that a photographer can use to influence a picture's design.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is the best single volume on visual design and composition in years. Painters need a book this good. Freeman's earlier book from the 1980s, "Image," had long held the status, IMHO, of being the best single volume. His new book surpasses the older one by a significant margin.

Freeman is one of very few photographers, or artists of any ilk, who can articulate their art-related thoughts in concrete, accurate, analytical ways, and not in the jargon of so much of what is written about art that lacks any actual content. Not only is he an outstandingly gifted photographer, with dozens of books to his credit, but one who has mastered the grammar of images and is one of the few who can describe how and why visual phenomena work.

This is the most complete volume on this subject out there in terms of numbers of topics introduced and discussed at a reasonable length. It is also the most effective melding of the insights of current Gestalt perception theory with traditional design elements/principles in print. The first 60% of the book deals with the more concrete aspects of designing an image.

The last two chapters marry the other part of composing that is harder to articulate well: the message in a image, or the photographer's intent. Only in this book has an author attempted to define major categories of intent in making an image. And then categorizes the physical and mental aspects of how a photographer goes after, constructs, or recognizes an image - the process.

Throughout the discussions he introduces those aspects of digital imaging that a photographer can use to influence a picture's design.
Read more ›
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Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having decided to get serious about photography about a year ago, I have found this book to be a true eye opener. Michael's clear pragmatic text with lots of pictures illustrating the concepts, really helped me understand how to take better pictures. What's more it showed me how to really appreciate photography and see why a great photo is great. Once you have got to grips with the functions of your camera, this book will really kick your hobby to a new level. It's very well structured with modules building on one another in a clear and logical way. At the same time it encourages creativity and exploration of ideas. I have read many photography books over the last few months and this is by far the best, both technically and in the humble style of the author who is not at all overbearing nor ego centric (as some authors are in this field, you know who you are)... As I read this book, I became increasingly excited at the insight and understanding it gave me of the art of photography. In fact writing this review has got me fired up to go and take some better photo's right now!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
It's an excellent book, which I definitely recommend who wants to express himself through photography. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Thomas Papanikolaou
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well-written by an established photographic author
This is an excellent book for any level of photography. A massive amount of information on the various compositional aspects of photography. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Zepp2010
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye-opener....
As an enthusiastic amateur photographer I was keen to progress and bought this as I thought it might help one aspect of my photos. Read more
Published 2 months ago by ormegirl
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
I did not like the style in which it was written or the way it put information across in an over complicated I feel this purchase was a complete was of money very disappointed
Published 2 months ago by Steve E
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introductory book to Photographic composition
I thought this book was well written and informative. Compositional ideas are grouped in easy to understand - or well explained - headings logically and generally there are a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by SouthernPhotographer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book.
A well illustrated and thought out book. It gives clear teaching about the composition of photographs. Highly recorded for all.
Published 3 months ago by D. Marsh
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Book
This is a beautiful book that made a wonderful present for a budding photographer, looking forward to reading it properly.
Published 4 months ago by Ace
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro to subject but not best suited to kindle sceens. Best buy...
The topics are well introduced and illustrated by photographs and sketches. Unfortunately the pictures are not much bigger than a postage stamp on a small screen, much of the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Fred
3.0 out of 5 stars Found it hard to fully digest
I bought this book expecting it to be I guess a lot less thorough and more explanatory through the use of photography but I have to say I found it difficult to digest and as such I... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Peter O'Toole
5.0 out of 5 stars another great one from Michael freeman
Again as my reviewed books from Michael Freeman "Perfect Exposure" and the "Photographers Mind" same applies here concise, easy to understand for anyone with a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Andre
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