Over the weekend I sat down with The Photographer’s Eye by Michael Freeman – one of numerous unread photography books that are piling up on my desk at the moment.
I’d had this book recommended to me by a number of Digital Photography School readers and thought that it was probably time that I checked it out for myself. I’m glad that I did.
Rating: 8…no make that a 9 out of 10 (updated)
The Photographer’s Eye is not a general digital photography book that covers all aspects of photography (like others we’ve reviewed) – instead it focuses upon the element of Composition. The subtitle of the book probably says it best – ‘The Photographer’s Eye – Composition and Design for Better Photos’.
At a first flick through (it’s easy to flick through as it’s a paperback) The Photographer’s Eye impressed me purely as a result of the images that it contained – Freeman certainly knows how to take a shot (he has a real focus upon travel photography in the images in this book) – but after taking in the images (I’m a sucker for visuals) I began to digest the words that accompanied them and was really impressed with the aim’s of this book. Freeman explains in his introduction:
“A great deal goes on in the process of making an exposure that is not at all obvious to someone else seeing the result later…. What I will attempt to do here is to show how photographers compose their images, according to their intentions, moods and abilities and how the many skills of organizing an image in the viewfinder can be improved and shared.”
Freeman goes on to talk about how the technology of digital photography is important (a tool) – but that it is actually the decisions that a photographer makes that are more important – this book is about those decisions.
One more quote from the intro:
“Most people using a camera for the first time try to master the controls but ignore the ideas. They photograph intuitively, liking or disliking what they see without stopping to think why, and framing the view in the same way. Anyone who does it well is a natural photographer. But knowing in advance why some compositions or certain combinations of colors seem to work better than others, better equips any photographer.”