Review of Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson
LEARNING TO SEE CREATIVELY (Third Edition)- Design, Color, and Composition in Photography, by Bryan Peterson, was first published in 1988. His newly revised edition was the first of Bryan Peterson’s books I’ve read. Being an amateur photographer, and an artist, I found his book to be a breath of fresh air compared to the many other photography books I’ve come across. With me not being a pro in any way, his simplistic layout, and his step-by-step explanations that walked me through his book made it not only easy to comprehend, but gave me a personal look into the mind of what I can tell, from my own opinion as well as other reviewers, is a great photographer and teacher. Not everyone can afford a one on one photography class with such a teacher, but most anyone looking to learn, or become better at, photography can afford a great lesson in just under 20 dollars.
I personally took an interest in this book for it’s title, although for me, it would read “Learning to see MORE creatively”. I’ve always had the eye, but not always the skill, and this book brings those two things together beautifully. Bryan Peterson answers all the questions a self-taught photographer like myself would have. He first breaks you into the book by focusing on, what else, but, “What Do We See?”. This first chapter is a perfect example of what the rest of the book looks like. You open up the chapter to see an array of images, the same image, just different perspectives. Each image is of a different view, depth, or lens. What Bryan does, is he shows you the different options a photographer might have in taking a photo, and then shows you ways you might make it better. He does this using his own point of view, explaining how he might go about taking such photo, and does this with a walk through of what he uses as far as camera, lens, shutter speed, exposure, and so on. It’s like being in the mind of a master.
Following through the first chapter, Bryan takes you on a walk through different lens, each lens he provides you with a photographic example, and another step-by-step walk through. Next chapter, he introduces you to the more creative side of things, the “Elements of Design”. Here, he covers Line, Shape, Form, Texture, Pattern, and Color. This is where the artist in me exploded with excitement. For so long I had thought photography was supposed to be about subjects, particularly people or animals. My eye, on the other hand, was always drawn to the more abstract side of life. It’s where my most favored photos came from. The book really opened my mind to see, just like with art, there is no limit with photography. There is just finding a way to build on the gift you’ve been given, in a way that all the world can see it and enjoy it.
Chapter by chapter Bryan goes on to explain the basics in photography, such as composition, contrast, light, editing, and Photoshop. Each and every chapter of his he provides an exercise, a chance for you to pull out your camera, and put your own skill to work, as well as to help you learn what your own vision and color composition is. Bryan does a wonderful job reaching out to you, the student, and helping you build your skill. Even the more skilled photographer has a chance to open their eyes a little more and learn a thing or two. It’s a great refresher book all around, and one I was very pleased to review.
-I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and views are my own.