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The Photographer's Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos (The Photographer's Eye) Paperback – 1 Nov 2010
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About the Author
Michael Freeman, professional photographer and best-selling author, 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. In 1971 he made the life-changing decision to travel up the Amazon with two secondhand cameras, and when Time-Life used many of the pictures he came back with, he embarked on a full-time photographic career.
Since then, working for clients that include all the world's major magazines, most notably the Smithsonian Magazine (for which he has shot more than 40 stories over 30 years), Freeman's reputation as one of the world's leading reportage photographers has been consolidated. Of his many books, which have sold over 4 million copies worldwide, more than 60 titles are on the practice of photography. For this photographic educational work he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture.
Freeman's books on photography have been translated into 27 languages.
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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.
In the first book of the series "The Photographer's Eye", he addressed some aspects of a solid composition: gestalt theory, right choices of tools for different purposes, necessary skills for capturing one's idea, etc. The Photographer's Mind is the second book in this series. It starts right from where the first book ends: the psychological study of what makes a good composition. After all, once you've learnt your tools, got your hands swift enough and known the gestalt rules, you'll need to know more about what makes a good photography in order to advance. This enters the realm of psychology. However elusive this topic is, in "Chapter 1: Intent" of this book, the author analyses the psychology of photo appreciation in seven selected aspects, largely focusing on the choice of arrangement of the image contents.
"Chapter 2: Style" is more on available options of graphical styles to go for rendering your intent. This chapter goes further in the field of gestalt philosophy of composition.
"Chapter 3: Process" talks about practice. Concrete methods for building a sophisticated compositional mind are discussed here. The author is a good guide.
Like Mr. Freeman's other books, this book is again elaborated in stylish and non-pretentious text. A real pleasure to read as essays. Points are also explained or presented with content-rich and beautiful photographs, as well as informative illustrations. Each section in chapter 1 and 2 provides an "extended reading" subsection. The materials suggested in extended readings surely widen the horizon of your photographic mind.
I strongly recommend this book to people having ambition of advancing the quality of their photographs, or sheerly enjoying intellectual contemplation from reading good English.
This is not a manual on which settings to use in which circumstances. Rather, it analyses the creative process around choosing what to photograph, and composition. It also looks at how the viewers may perceive a photograph and how you can, to a certain extent, control the way in which they see a scene.
This has made me think about why I take photos and what response I want to elicit from people. It has also made me consider new approaches, and given me ideas on how to move forward and develop my skills.
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.
In an age of overblown superlatives.........fantastic!
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