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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars concise but effective advice
Although surprisingly slim (in pages) the coverage of the basics of photographic design and creativity is very useful.
Topics are covered in a few pages with limited but relevant photographs showing aspects of the "design" under discussion. The exercises, although deceptively simple, can be very effective in achieving the stated objective - getting the reader to see...
Published on 14 Feb 2006

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly light in content
Having liked Bryan Peterson's book on exposure, I bought this one with the intent to learn a bit more about composition. Whilst it contains some useful tips and exercises and some good pictures to illustrate concepts, I'm quite disappointed with the book. Unless you don't know that wide angle lenses have a wide angle of view with a high depth of field and telephoto...
Published on 27 Nov 2010 by JJ WALRAVENS


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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars concise but effective advice, 14 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
Although surprisingly slim (in pages) the coverage of the basics of photographic design and creativity is very useful.
Topics are covered in a few pages with limited but relevant photographs showing aspects of the "design" under discussion. The exercises, although deceptively simple, can be very effective in achieving the stated objective - getting the reader to see creatively.
The book is a general guide to photographic composition and design. If you are looking for specific techniques on digital, photoshop or a specialised field of photography then look elsewhere. The writing style is clean and consise, making it a joy to read (over and over again).
A very good purchase if you are actually interested in creating images rather than collecting lenses!
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book to begin with, 11 May 2007
By 
Malcolm (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
Firstly this is not a book telling you how to take better photographs. That's the nuts and bolts you either are told by someone or, better still, learn by simply picking up a camera and playing.

This book is about how to see the picture...and how to see the same picture from a different view. For instance I like to shoot flowers sometimes, close up, but following an idea in this book, instead of standing over, or by the flower, I lay down and shot upwards and forwards, (I also decided to have the sun backlight the petals), the result was a far more interesting picture, and a picture that caught people as they looked,...'oh that's stunning' some kind person said.

That's the idea behind this book, to take what you know, and then say, but try it from this view. Like landscapes, always with a wide angle, but then use your telephoto to shoot detail. Or try a landscape laying down, so a mass of colourful flowers with a skyscape overhead.

I've been taking pictures for 25 years now, but this book did give me a lot of thought and many ideas that maybe some I once knew but had forgotten, and others I hadn't even thought of. So yes, this book is excellent.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed, 6 July 2007
By 
Mr. Stuart Robert Harris "Vivir Con Arte" (Norwalk CT 06850) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
If the measure of a good book is compelling readability, then this book is a good book. Two sessions is all it took, although of course it does have pictures.

And if the measure of a good photography book is inspiring you to go out and take pictures, then this is a good photography book. Even before finishing it I was trying out some of Peterson's tips.

What I like so much about this book is that it has enough "technical" information to be really useful, but not so much as to make it dry. The author clearly loves his work (and his wife) and communicates it with bubbling enthusiasm. He's "artistic" but doesn't come across as a moody, tortured soul.

I have some technical photography books that are highly informative but also dour and depressing. By contrast this book had me buzzing and raring to go. Highly recommended!
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It does what it says ... and very well., 24 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
This is a very good book that encourages the photographer to carefully consider composition. It also has very helpful sections about why certain images work - such as the use of thirds, golden sections, S-shaped images, why the use of the right side is more effective than the left, looking for colour before composition etc.
The criticism made by bomanjee below that this is a good introductory guide for children only is totally uncalled for and ridiculous.
If there is a criticism, it's that the pictures are sometimes poorly reproduced - grainy, lacking sharpness and the colours are muted. I think this is a result of the printing which is a bit cheap. But the ideas the book discusses are invaluable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly light in content, 27 Nov 2010
By 
JJ WALRAVENS "jjwalravens" (Jakarta) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
Having liked Bryan Peterson's book on exposure, I bought this one with the intent to learn a bit more about composition. Whilst it contains some useful tips and exercises and some good pictures to illustrate concepts, I'm quite disappointed with the book. Unless you don't know that wide angle lenses have a wide angle of view with a high depth of field and telephoto lenses have the ability to make big images of distant objects, you can safely skip the first 40 pages. The next chapter on the elements of design (e.g.line, form, shape, texture,...)is a lot better. It gets you to think about how you can combine some of the these elements to create dramatic and powerful exposures. The chapter on composition is the most practical one. It contains many tips which may sound trivial, but actually you rarely think about when you shoot your pictures: filling the frame, looking for the picture within a picture and arranging/rearranging your subject are just a few of them. The following chapter on "the magic of light" is too superficial and much better explained in the author's book "Understanding Exposure". Finally, I fail to understand the purpose of the last 2 chapters on the use of imaging software and career considerations. They lack content and have actually little to do with the subject of the book. In summary some useful tips and exercises, but way too light in content. A disappointment after having read and loved "Understanding Exposure" .
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Instruction, 5 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
When I first flicked through this book I was rather disappointed by some of the pictures whilst others were good. It was only when I took the time to read the accompanying text that I realised the purpose of the “dull pictures” was to provide the good images with context.
What the author has done is illustrate how by focussing in on one aspect of a scene, a stunning image can be created from an otherwise dull composition. Fundamental concepts such as line, form, shape and texture are covered and well illustrated. The author also illustrates well the properties of lens, aperture and shutter speed and how these can be used to emphases elements of a composition whilst removing other distractions.
Whilst much of the information is not new and may appear basic, its when you take the time to combine the elements and learn to consider the options available that you gain the real value from this book. If I could learn to implement all of the information in this book before I press the shutter release, I am certain that I would produce consistently impressive work. My work has improved as a result of reading and practicing from this book although I have found myself taking many more experimental shots of the same composition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very easy on the eye.. and lovely topick up anytime you need inspiration, 10 Jun 2009
By 
S. Hundeyin "SVH" (Hillingdon Midxx UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
I had previously read the authors Understanding exposure, and have read Some of Scott Kelbys photoshop books but this was a Natural follow up to Understanding exposure.
It succeeds in helping you see things that are there but one simply can not see
The result is that one can make existing good photos look better or even great and take more than one of the same photo and later on come up with really eye-catching images
The equal amount of text and very instructive ( and illustrative pictures makes it a gem to have around and look at from time to time to keep the inspiration flowing
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Learning to see, 28 Aug 2007
By 
Jem (North Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
This is an easy read and contains some practical advice, but it is not going to turn you into a Bailey or Lichfield overnight. I felt that what it did do well was to encourage you to play, snap away, and then select the best picture. With digital cameras that is an easy and inexpensive thing to do that. Film and printing no so much.

My one irritation with the book was Peterson's suggestion that it is within everyone's grasp to get photographs into a stock agency and sold for $10,000 a time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Basics!, 3 Aug 2009
By 
Abdulla M. Al Qasim (Bahrain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
The book talks about basic techniques and methods through which any photographer can improve his / her photography techniques. However, it seems to me that the book will benefit beginners a heap more than serious amateurs or professionals due to the emphasis given to the basic elements. I believe every photographer needs to brush up on the basics at least once every year. This book is good at doing that.

However, I do find that the title is a bit misleading as it doesn't really teach you how to `see creatively', the book simply enhances the readers basic knowledge and techniques for taking a `good' photograph or how to see a good photograph. The creative bit remains the artistic / individual element that makes photography an art. Read as many books as you like but I believe that no one can really teach you how to be creative.

The book includes some very helpful exercises for the reader that will widen his / her horizon and improve technique. I personally do recommend attempting them all, even though some of them can be time consuming and a bit tedious but they really do add value to the reader. Take the time and do them all the way through, you will be thankful that you did.

The cover states that the book includes digital photography, DO NOT BE FOOLED! The book talks mostly about film photography and only mentions digital in one brief chapter towards the end of the book. The author talks about digital photography as if it were a vague subject, despite the book being a relatively recent publication.This still isn't a major issue as technique shouldn't really vary much whether using film or digital photography as the book is about photography skills. I tend to agree that most work should be done in the camera at the time of capturing the image and not at home on photoshop.

A good book all in all, especially for beginners and amateurs and essential for developing key skills. However, could be a bit of a disappointment for more advanced photographers but could still serve as a reference to the basics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging read, 13 Feb 2011
By 
Dr. T. M. Wakeley (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning to See Creatively (Paperback)
This is an easy book to read and one I'd recommend to relatively inexperienced photographers who are looking for some pointers on how to produce more creative images - by which I mean how to find/see an image when one doesn't obviously land in your lap. The fact that it does not focus on digital image creation exclusively (the original edition having been written in the pre-digital photography era) has made no difference to me. Why? Because this is predominantly a book about human hardware and software (i.e. eyes and brains!) and, as such, it transcends camera technology. Mr Peterson's anecdotal writing style is engaging and the book is filled with lovely examples that include shutter speed, f-stop and focal length data (something I always find helpful). Reading this book won't turn you into a creative genius, but it just might provide some food for thought as you make your personal journey through photography. After reading this book I'd recommend buying 'The Photographer's Eye' by Michael Freeman as a more technical follow up.
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Learning to See Creatively
Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson (Paperback - Oct 2003)
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