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Learning to See Creatively Paperback – 1 Oct 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Learning to See Creatively
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  • The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photographs: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
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  • Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
Total price: £49.16
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books; Rev. Ed edition (Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817441816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817441814
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 0.9 x 28.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Bryan Peterson is an internationally known instructor of photography, a widely exhibited photographer, and a best-selling author. He divides his time between Seattle, WA, and Lyons, France.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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By A Customer on 5 Oct. 2003
Format: 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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