The Photographer's Vision : Understanding and Appreciating Great Photography book cover
1st Edition

The Photographer's Vision
Understanding and Appreciating Great Photography

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ISBN 9780240815183
Published September 29, 2011 by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

In The Photographer's Eye, Michael Freeman showed what a photographer needs to do in the instant before the shutter is released. In the sequel, The Photographer's Mind, he explained the way that professional photographers think a picture through before taking it. Both of these international best-sellers featured Michael's own photography: stunning landscapes, revealing portraits, and fascinating street photography. Now, in The Photographer's Vision, he examines the work of photography's greats, explaining how to look at a photo - and how to learn from looking at it.

Table of Contents


A Momentary Art

Understanding Purpose

The Genres of Photography

What For?

Capture to Concept

Photographers' Skills

Surprise Me

The Skill to Capture

Compositional Skills

Color and Not


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Michael Freeman is a renowned international photographer and writer who specializes in travel, architecture, and Asian art. He is particularly well known for his expertise in special effects. He has been a leading photographer for the Smithsonian magazine for many years, and has worked for Time-Life Books and Reader's Digest. Michael is the author of more than 40 photographic books, including the hugely successful Complete Guide to Digital Photography and The Photographer's Eye. For his photographic educational work he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture. He is also responsible for the distance-learning courses on photography at the UK's Open College of the Arts.


"Acclaimed international photographer and writer Michael Freeman takes the reader on a wonderful journey to understand and appreciate a great photograph. The Photographer's Vision features some of the world's greatest photographers past and present and examines what it takes to create award-winning imagery. Each genre of photography - whether photojournalism, fashion or fine art - requires a developed skill set influenced by an underlying passion and vision. These genres are explored in detail in this book, as are the skills necessary to compose and capture the dynamic range of subjects. Perhaps the most important lesson Michael Freeman shares is how to identify the qualities of a good photograph. Whether you are a gallery owner, photographer, or simply have an appreciation of photography, this book will inspire you to see more and be a better judge of what makes a good photograph."--San Francisco Book Review

"This book examines the work of some of the world's greatest photographers, explaining how to look at photographs, and how to learn from looking at them. It examines composition and design in photography, explores the thought process that goes into taking pictures. Michael Freeman is an acclaimed photography and writer."

"Michael Freeman's The Photographer's Vision: Understanding and Appreciating Great Photography from Focal Press is the kind of photo book I'd always wished I'd written but could never get up off my ass to do. (OK, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm tied up writing these dang photo gear reviews all the time.) Freeman, who is also the author of companion books The Photographer's Eye and The Photographer's Mind, discusses the work of some of the world's great photographers in The Photographer's Vision and offers his take on how to look at an image and how to gain something from the experience. His choice of photographers and imagery in the book are excellent, including work by Walker Evans, Paul Strand, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman and Horst Faas. The only thing I wished he'd discussed was how to develop 'a vision' in your own work. But maybe I've got to write that book myself."

"Michael Freeman is a photographer known internationally for his extensive work in Africa and especially Asia. He also has written numerous books about photography theory. He's currently on tour speaking on 'Storytelling Through Photos'. I had a chance to sit in on one of these lectures given at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa and afterwards was able to have a few moments with Michael to see how he got started, his views on photo essay structure, and what it is that keeps him going."

"The Photographer's Vision has a power that grows the more you read and re-read it. The stories of great photographers and their images are engrossing...I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in seeing and understanding great photos or for those who want to improve their photographic eye."

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