The Photographer's Eye By Michael Freeman
The Photographer's Eye, Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos, is a book devoted to photographic composition. This is an elusive topic which is most difficult to teach and equally difficult to master. While most photography books devote a chapter to composition, this is insufficient to learn anything more than a few basic rules.
Michael Freeman's book visually illustrates photographic composition with hundreds of images and many diagrams to dissect what contributes to an image's successful composition. The book covers elements of composition, design principles, intent and finishes with the process of choosing and creating well-composed images.
This 192-page book is clear enough to help people struggling with composition as well as those who already understand its basics but wish to improve further.
Photography involves technical and creative aspects. Of the latter, composition is arguably the most important. As a creative aspect, composition is not only difficult to teach, it is highly elusive for those who try to understand it. Michael Freeman, in this book, tries to organize this topic and keep it creative, rather than turn it into rules which stifle creativity rather than expand it.
The Photographer's Eye teaches composition using many captivating photographs to illustrate each point and various creative possibilities. Illustrations of shapes and principal directions isolate important elements when clarification is needed. A number of subjects are studied using multiple images to illustrate the impact of different compositions. To grasp a creative aspect like this, examples are needed and Michael Freeman supplies them in great numbers.
This book is divided into six chapters. Four chapters are devoted to aspects of composition and their impact on an image. The remaining two are concerned with translating intent and action into composition. This is very important because many good compositions exist for a given subject but not all communicate the same thing about it. Process is essential to achieving a desired composition, otherwise one may learn to recognize good composition but not the way to produce it.
Chapter 1: The Image Frame covers the intrinsic cropping of a subject by the camera and its impact on the image. On one hand, the interaction between the frame and subjects are explained. On the other, the photographer's interaction and manipulation of the frame are shown to also affect the perception of a subject.
The classic view of composition, although in much greater depth than usual, is covered in Chapter 2: Design Basics. Topics such as contrast, balance, pattern and perspective are well explained here.
Chapter 3: Graphics & Photographic Elements dissects images' simple constituents such as points, lines, curves, shapes and vectors. The impact of each of these elements are discussed in great detail, with diagrams to highlight them when needed.
Chapter 4: Composing with Light and Color considers the impact of exposure and color on composition. This topic is most often forgotten when discussing composition but its impact is not to be underestimated as a viewer's reaction to a photograph is highly influenced by both light and color.
A moderately short Chapter 5: Intent covers the relation between a photographer's message and composition. Composition is a representation of the photographer's intent and therefore this chapter covers one of the most important decisive aspects a photography.
The final Chapter 6: Process is the first attempt at helping photographers learn how to come up with an appropriate composition. This is an extremely interesting chapter that provides relevant advice to compose photographs given a subject, situation and intent.
Overall, this book is excellent in its treatment of such an abstract subject like composition. The text is clear and well-written, with an adequate amount of detail. Photos accompanying the text are striking, dynamic and varied to illustrate different aspects of composition. It is not actually possible for any book to teach someone to be a master of composition, but this one covers a lot of valuable ground in that direction. Of particular importance is the coverage of the process to find a good composition to represent the photographer's message.
Neocamera Blog is a medium for expressing ideas related to digital cameras and photography. Read about digital cameras in the context of technology, media, art and the world. Latest posts links:
Expert Shield Screen Protector Review
Expert Shield Screen Protectors offer scratch protection with a crystal clear covering that uses no adhesive.
Canon EOS Rebel T5 Review
Entry-level DSLR with 18 MP, 9-Point Phase-Detect AF, 3 FPS drive and full 1080p HD video in a compact body. The lowest-cost Canon DSLR yet.
Nikon D810 Review
Professional DSLR with anti-alias-filter-free 36 MP CMOS sensor. Ultra-low ISO 32 to 51200. 5 FPS and 1080p @ 60 FPS. Large 0.7X magnification 100% coverage OVF. All new processing-pipeline and Highlight-Weighed metering.
Fuji X-T1 Photographer Experience
Photographer Experience report on using the Fuji X-T1 along with the Fujinon XF18-135mm F/3.5-5.6R LM OIS WR and Fujinon XF10-24mm F/4R OIS lenses.
Olympus Stylus 1 Review
Premium compact with bright F/2.8 constant aperture stabilized 10.7X wide-angle optical zoom lens. Full manual-controls with dual control-dials, plus a huge 1.15X EVF with 1.4 MP and an Eye-Start sensor. 3-Stop ND-Filter and WiFi built-in.
Canon Rebel SL1 Review
The smallest DSLR yet packs a 18 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor with hybrid Phase-Detect and Contrast-Detect AF. Captures images at 4 FPS and 1080p HD video.
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 2014 Review
The lightest 14" ultra-book features a high-resolution 2560x1440 QHD non-glare display in a carbon-fiber body with illuminated and spill-proof keyboard. WiFi, WiDi, 4G and Gigabit Ethernet all in one sleek design.
Nikon D4s Review
All-new Nikon flagship professional DSLR with a 16 MP sensor capable for ISO 50-409,600, 11 FPS continuous drive for 200 JPEG or 78 RAW, full 1080p HD @ 60 FPS with clean HDMI out, Time-Lapse Video, Interval Timer. Built-in HTTP and FTP servers, plus Gigabit Ethernet and more.
Nikon D3300 Review
The newest entry-level Nikon DSLR features a 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor without Anti-Alias filter. 5 FPS Drive, full 1080p HD and 11-point Phase-Detect AF in a simple and compact body.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review
16 MP Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless without anti-alias filter. Built-in 5-Axis stabilization and 37-point Phase-Detect AF. 10 FPS drive plus full 1080p HD. Freezeproof body with dual control-dials, a 2.4 MP EVF and 3" tilting touchscreen LCD.