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The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photographs: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos Paperback – 11 Jun 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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Paperback, 11 Jun 2007
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ilex Press; 01 edition (11 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905814046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905814046
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 1.4 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Book Description

Learn how to improve every photograph you take with this definitive reference book from Michael Freeman.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 series of pictures to explain each concept. Since I have read this book, I have been thinking more about my composition and I believe my photography has improved as a result.

The reason for 4 stars instead of 5? The book doesn't really end, it just kind of stops. You expect there to be another section, turn the page and find the index. This didn't put me off the book however, I needed to concentrate on understanding the basics of photographic composition and this book has gone a long way to doing that.

I would recommend buying this book, but it should be bought with a number of others, it cannot be relied upon as a reference on it's own.
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This is the third Michael Freeman book I've bought, and it's the most frustrating one to review.

The content is five star and is helping me to slow down and be much more thoughtful about taking photographs. However, the writing style is so dry that I fall asleep after reading just half a page, so it's very hard going.

I'm familiar with academic writing, and understand the need for it in scientific research papers, but I don't think it's necessary to get the message across in books about photographic composition, yet I buy Michael Freeman's books as they are still preferable to the polar opposite - books by other writers that are crammed with unfunny jokes and babbling irrelevancies. It seems hard to find middle ground.

So five stars for the information, which is truly interesting, enlightening and practically helpful, but only three stars for the writing style. However, if you feel that your photos are getting stale, and you're tired of just pointing your camera at interesting things without really seeing what's in the viewfinder, I would definitely recommend this in-depth look at composition and design.

If you really take the time to absorb all the information and put it into practice, then your photography will advance several stages, without having to spend another penny on extra gear.
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There is more to taking a good shot than depth of field and shutter speed and focus. This book teaches you how to work out why good shots work and gives you a repertoire of skills to use as you develop your style and portfolio. Definitely recommended.
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Love this for a more informed and technical nread - the entire series is actually a good buy
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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.
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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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