My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Book Review : The Photographer's Eye - Michael Freeman

Since getting into photography I haven't actually read any books, getting most of my info online. As my skills increase, my craving for more specialized aspects of photography grow also. The reason I got a book in the first place was for something to read on the plane from Australia to Japan as I wasn't in the mood for fiction, even though I had the new Koontz novel tucked away in my backpack. As a visual arts student, I learnt more about concept and less about composition, colour and technique and just for the record, my experience at a modern art university was pretty shallow. The professors/lecturers were pretentious arseholes who had more concept and idea than practical skill and therefore have nothing to teach me as an artist as any artistic medium needs both concept and execution skill.

This leads me to a book that really balances out a few things for me as a "trained" artist, Michael Freeeman's The Photographer's Eye. This book covers aspects of photography not usually written about and if they are, I doubt they'd be as specific and readable as this, although I hear Learning To See Creatively by Bryan Peterson is also a great and informative read. The Photographer's Eye covers different aspects of composition and how framing, design, shapes, light, colour, intent and process are all connected and can be utilized to produce better photos that convey meaning and relevance to the photographer and more importantly, the viewer.

This is not a book about your camera, it's not a how-to book, it's not a dummies guide to taking photos. What it is is a book to explain to you the art and design of image making and how people read them. Michael Freeman writes and conveys his ideas easily, even if your new to composition. The cool thing for me is that it's helped me think about my intent before pressing the shutter, I feel better as a photographer when I don't delete half the photos I took as they don't aesthetically work. This book also isn't a one off read and will be a great reference guide. I can't wait to read it again in a few months as I let the information slowly digest, in the meantime, I'll be reading Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers by Christopher Grey. It looks a little full on but I'll jump in and see what it offers as I want to get more into lighting and portraiture work.