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The Photographer's Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos [Paperback]

Michael Freeman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2010
The Photographers Eye has been one of the most successful books about the art of photography ever published. In it, Michael Freeman analysed the art of photographic composition the arrangement of subjects within the frame and in doing so inspired hundreds of thousands of photographers to develop their work and create more sophisticated and rewarding images. In this volume, Freeman looks at what makes a photograph great and explores the ways that top photographers achieve this goal time and time again. The first section explains how the digital revolution has democratised the photographic arts, while the second section looks at the intention behind a photo. This is followed by an analysis of style from classical harmonies to minimalist looks. Finally, he looks at how this will affect your photographic process: theres advice on avoiding cliché, creating a picture story, and shooting with post-production in mind. As ever, Michaels thinking is illustrated by his own stunning photography and explained in clear, unpretentious language with newly-commissioned diagrams illustrating the more theoretical points. The Photographers Mind will be one of this years major books on the subject and is set to become a well-used addition to the library of any serious photographer.

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The Photographer's Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos + The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos + Perfect Exposure: The Professional Guide to Capturing Perfect Digital Photographs
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: ILEX (1 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905814976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905814978
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,470 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,

Product Description


"In this volume, Freeman contemplates what makes a photo gripping, appealing, or beautiful, breaking subject matter, lighting, and composition into component parts and defining and discussing each. Filled with examples at each step, the elements of a photo are organized into three sections - intent, style, and process - with examples of the transformations possible using digital technology surveyed in the final section. This is a superb guide, thought provoking and useful for photographers at all levels."--SciTechBookNews

"In Freeman's follow-up to his popular Photographer's Eye and Photographer's Eye Field Guide, he generously shares experience he has gained as a professional photographer to improve the quality of the digital pictures nearly everyone is now creating. The content is streamlined into three chapters, on intent, style, and process, that tackle both the practical and the intangible aspects of photography more thoughtfully than many similar books. Freeman is as adept at explaining composition as he is at discussing the problem of cliché or the philosophy of the sublime. Suitable for all who are serious about improving their photos."--Library Journal

"The Photographer's Mind is Michael Freeman's follow up to his best-selling book, The Photographer's Eye. Containing more than 400 images with schematic illustrations showing how and why they work, the book is targeted at serious amateurs, intermediate as well as professional photographers."--Photography Blog

"Freeman's latest offering reaffirms his place as a skilled photographer and deep thinker with much to impart about the variety of mental processes at play when viewing an image."

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 20 photographic books, including the hugely successful Complete Guide to Digital Photography and The Photographer's Eye. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid continuation of "Photographer's Eye" 7 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As novice getting back into photography, I struggled with "The Photographer's Eye" - it seemed to take a little while/re-reading for the concepts to take hold but after that, I enjoyed that book.

As per the first book, this is aimed at the intermediate/advanced photographer and as such does not cover technical competencies (shutter speed/aperture/iso etc).

This book to me is a continuation of his previous book and I feel without having read/be aware of the solid concepts/techniques of composition, the reader may be a little lost.

This book takes the reader through and expanding on the 'why's of compositional elements and considerations for certain situations. There's a section in the book that provides a small case study for one of Freeman's images, and whilst not a great image, the thought process and considerations made whilst deciding on the final composition/light control etc is very much appreciated.

One small issue I have is related to the layout of the items on some pages. Whilst Freeman's writing style is flowing, the pages contain images with captions and the layout does not really provide the reader will clear breaks for us to explore the images/captions, before returing to the main text. With this, I found myself jumping between the images, the captions and the main text and getting ahead of myself. The publishers have missed reading Freeman's section on "leading the eye".

If you enjoyed and learned something "The Photographer's Eye" and want the 'why' to the 'what', this is a good choice. Throuroghly recommended for anyone wishing to improve.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have only had the book for a day, but even only after such a short time, I can already say it is in the same league as the authors other offerings. I sat down for 10 minutes and after an hour came to the conclusion that it was a very worthwhile purchase. If you are a point and shoot only photographer and intend to do no more than that, then this is not a book for you. Any serious amateurs, or those budding photographers who are studying for a career, or just interested in getting much more from their camera must have this on their shelves.

The book is written as a teacher or lecturer would explain techniques to students. Of course as the author has written many courses to degree level, then this is to be expected. That is not to say that it is difficult to read, as it is not. My feeling is it should be part of a suite which should include "The Photographers Eye", "Mastering Digital Photography", "Perfect Exposure" and others. The images accompanying the text are excellent and bring the book alive.

If you want to realise the full potential of both your camera and your artistic capabilities, then buy this book.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bookshops are awash with photography books. The problem for the intermediate/advanced shooter is that irrespective of the cover blurb, most of those books are for beginners.

The Photographer's mind is not for beginners. It is one of the few photography books that truly is for intermediate/advanced photographers. It maintains the level of quality needed to meet its audience throughout. You are not expected to flick through the first 50% of yet another 'padded out with basic photography' type book as it yet again slowly trudges through all the things you know already (basic shutter/aperture, camera lenses, exposure modes, ISO, rule of thirds, layer adjustments and correction). Instead, you are treated as a competent user.

A criticism of the book would be that the author rarely considers photography outside his comfort zone (reportage and travel photography), and there is a hint of snobbishness regarding photography in more mundane and populist settings. This is not explicit, but implied by exclusion. Although this is a stance I have some sympathy for, it may not be appropriate from a book with such a general title (i.e it should be all encompassing and not favour particular photography types). Sure, the book is more conceptual than stylistic, but the example images should certainly have more variety than they do (especially when some images are now becoming familiar to readers of Freeman's previous books - he keeps using the same shots).

Another minor issue is that the author has a tendency towards a noticeably older style of photography than many other competing books (this is the book you would expect a photographer of the 70's to write, complete with a focus on the sights and sounds of the hippie trail).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Freeman 11 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recommend the writings of Michael Freeman to my students of photography - clearly written, excellent illustrations - the book embodies all that's good about an experienced photographer reflecting on a lifetime's experience. Terrific - a great companion to The Photographer's Eye
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book 24 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This very well written book was exactly what I was looking for. It is divided into three sections: Intent, Style and Process. It takes you through how you think about taking a photograph.

I think it is not for the beginners. You need some experience to gain something from it. So I think it is more appropriate for the intermediate photographer who knows a bit about photography and had some experience in taking photos.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychology, Philosophy and Practice for Advancing One's Photography
As all kinds of cameras becoming ubiquitous, sheer volume of pictures explode, there is more and more democracy in the appreciation of good photography. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ning Zhao
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle users beware.
Another great book from Michael Freeman with lots to provoke thought. I borrowed the paperback from my library initally and then bought the Kindle version. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ian H
5.0 out of 5 stars Great great great
Great book, don't know what else to say about it. Easy to understand, easy to put in practice, understandable, clearly and concisely written. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Andre
2.0 out of 5 stars too similar to The Photographer's Eye, a bit of salami slicing.
Having read the Photographer's Eye, I found this book disappointing. It does not add much, in my view. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Massimiliano Volpi
5.0 out of 5 stars Photographers Mind
Excellent account of ways of thinking about photography. Very good examples of successful techniques for achieving distinctive images. Read more
Published 12 months ago by jpm
5.0 out of 5 stars The Photographers Eye
Totally refreshing, an absolute "must" on any serious photographers bookshelf. After reading this, I would recommend getting Michael Freemans follow up book . Read more
Published 14 months ago by Tony Cortazzi
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money
I bought two of Freeman'sbooks: The Photographer's Mind and the Photographer's Eye as one follows on from the other. Read more
Published 15 months ago by GH
5.0 out of 5 stars Photographer's mind
Good book good creative material, and a good read intuitive, value for money. I find this book very interesting. So buy it.
Published 15 months ago by Tony McKenna
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book
I bought this follow up to the author's earlier The Photoghrapher's Eye, it continues in the same vein encouraging the photographer to think more deeply about composition and what... Read more
Published 16 months ago by R. Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars fab
a book that made me think about photography at a time where i needed to think about photography. This is not a technical manual on how cameras work but a book that makes you think... Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2011 by dominic cox
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