Perception and Imaging: Photography--A Way of Seeing, 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Perception and Imaging

Photography--A Way of Seeing, 4th Edition

By Richard D. Zakia

© 2013 – Focal Press

402 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780240824536
pub: 2013-03-08
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780240824680
pub: 2013-02-11
from $43.95

FREE Standard Shipping!
Look Inside Comp Exam Copy


When you look at an image, what do you see and feel? What do you want your audience to see and feel when they view your work? In today’s digital age, it has become all too easy to randomly click away, without really focusing on what exactly it is that you are trying to capture in your shot. For over thirty years, Dr. Richard Zakia helped thousands of photographers hone in on their creative vision through the inspirational, informative text and images included in his classic book, Perception and Imaging. This is so much more than a step-by-step, technical photography instruction manual. Instead, it explores the fundamental act of photography—in other words, seeing—through a uniquely comprehensive combination of technique, history, visual perception, philosophy, and psychology. Photographers of all levels will benefit from the information in this book, because it will help you to think more clearly about what it is that you want to convey in your images, no matter what level you are at in terms of technical skill.

• Includes inspirational images from some of the world’s most well-known photographers, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Man Ray

• All new coverage on what perception means for your photography in the digital age

• New sections on conceptual, contemplative, and black-and-white photography

• New additions about the use of negative space, metaphors, realism, and the rule of thirds in photography


This is a book on photography and seeing, not just for those who capture and create images, but also for those who use them and write about them. Richard Zakia has a way of writing about photographs that is practical and relevant to how we see things.
With many examples of important photographs, paintings and advertisements, he reminds us that we don't often see all that there is to see. Instead, we tend to limit ourselves to seeing what we expect to see, thus missing the richness of many photographs.

Take, for example, my photograph of "Push?, which is on the cover of Zakia's book. One might look at it and dismiss it as just another photograph of a trash can on a beach. But read what he had to say about it. You will be surprised and delighted by what you will learn and be able to apply to your own photography.

I found this book highly interesting and challenging, and I recommend it to anyone working in photography or related visual disciplines. -Pete Turner

One of the many outstanding features of "Perception and Imaging" is its irresistible friendliness. The layout is engaging, the illustrations varied and absorbing, the quotations from artists delightful and provocative. Whether you are looking for technical information, historical data or graphic challenges you will find it here in an easy-to-access format. Dr. Zakia's vision is all-encompassing: he is equally familiar with a 2000-year-old Sicilian mosaic and the latest in digital concepts. You don't want to miss this one.
-Corrine Whitaker

Table of Contents

1. Selection; 2. Gestalt Grouping; 3. Memory and Association; 4. Space, Time and Color; 5. Contours; 6. Illusion and Ambiguity; 7. The Morphics; 8. Personality; 9. Subliminals; 10. Critiquing Photographs; 11. Rhetoric; 12. Black and White Photography by Thom Halls. Appendix A. Additional Concepts; Appendix B. Answers to Selected Exercises; Appendix C. Ads from the Past; Bibliography; Index

About the Author

Dr. Richard D. Zakia, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus at Rochester Institute of Technology, taught in many areas of photography and served as the chair of the Fine Art Photography Department and Graduate Program in Imaging Arts. He was the recipient of the Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award and the author/co-author of twelve books on photography, including The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, Teaching Photography, Photographic Composition: A Visual Guide, and his final book, the 4th edition of Perception and Imaging.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHOTOGRAPHY / Techniques / Digital (see also COMPUTERS / Digital Media / Photography)