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The Photographer's Eye Remastered 10th Anniversary: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photographs Paperback – 15 Jun 2017
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'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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
With a completely refreshed look to celebrate it's tenth anniversary, Michael Freeman's iconic bestseller, The Photographer's Eye, has never looked better.See all Product description
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The book is divided up into sections, most a page or two long, which are helpfully titled in the top left of the page so you can find inspiration quickly just by skimming through. This is a book that can be dipped into as much as read cover to cover although I don't recommend you do read it end to end as this is a very drily written book, and would certainly benefit from friendly asides here and there. For example, there is no mention of the 'happy accident' - you might come away from this book thinking that to create good photos you need a set square and ruler before you even start!
There is no interest in the fun of photography here, purely the 'science' and calculated interpretation of imagery which while useful to know is intensely dull to read about. That said, it could be worse and the author could have gone down the even worse route of being 'wacky' and unfunny which would have been unbearable.
You should buy this book if you want to know why pictures work, or why they don't. Why do some pictures seem pleasing to the eye when others, almost identical, just don't have that spark? If you ever struggle to articulate the reasons why a piece of photography just feels right then this is a very useful book. There are lots of things to think about here, and while you won't absorb every piece of information there is plenty to get you thinking about your own work, and how to convert a scene into art. A worthwhile read.
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.
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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