THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S EYE – MICHAEL FREEMAN
I have just completed reading ‘The Photographer’s Eye’ by Michael Freeman published by ILEX Press (ISBN -10 1905814-04-6 ISBN – 13 978-1905814-04–6, a book that I have enjoyed reading and can recommend to anyone, photographer or not. It is easily accessible, logically and clearly set out and beautifully illustrated with well chosen photographs by the author.
Michael Freeman is a highly acclaimed photographer of international standing and is author of 20 books on photography and photographic techniques. He writes from extensive experience and deep knowledge and love of his subject. He manages to put over his ideas simply and clearly using a wealth of photographs to illustrate the points and add clarity to the text. The book is a demonstration of the fact that to be successful in putting over sometimes complex ideas and concepts a writer does not have to be wordy or academic.
Subtitled ‘Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos’ the book produces what it promises. Anyone reading this book who goes on to put any of the suggestions into effect in their photography will find themselves questioning their methods and thought processes and will produce better photos as a result. Those who are not photographers will have gained a much better understanding of the creative criteria and and a fuller appreciation of the photographs they see.
I will not select any particular chapter or section as I learnt from all of it. However, I found it particularly interesting that whilst Freeman sets out a great many ‘rules’ and guides as to the content and composition of photographs, he also makes it clear that ‘rules’ can be and often ought to be broken if the final image and/or its purpose benefits from it. He quotes Ansel Adams as writing ‘For photographic compositions I think in terms of creating configurations out of chaos, rather than following any conventional rules of composition‘. This is a book that I will refer to time and again as a means of inspiration and of checking the development of my photographs against his criteria and ideas.
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