Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Learning to See...Creatively


Learning to see creatively. Wow. Think about that. What a huge and bold title for a book. Is seeing creatively something we can teach? Or learn? And, if so, how?

Bryan Peterson takes on this task. But he doesn't seize the reigns of teaching-to-see-creatively lightly. After all, this is the third edition; Peterson has been grappling with the ideas in this book since 1988. Peterson is no novice to photography, to creativity; his website reminds us that he has been a successful commercial photographer for over thirty-five years. He has lots to share with those of us who have just come to this world. And he does so.

Peterson shares his secrets of how to see creatively in three ways. First, in a didactic, left-brained way, he provides the design, color, and composition rules for photography, some of which, one hopes, we have intuited for ourselves through our early successes and failures. Second, he shows lots of beautiful examples of his struggles to try out the rules. And, third, he offers exercises to build personal knowledge of those rules.

Some books can be read in an hour; this book is a book I've lived with for several months. That, for me, is the mark of a good book: I don't just read the words, but I reread the words and try out the ideas.

It's the trying out of the ideas that is most important, I think, in a book like this. So I thought I'd share some of my results.





For a true test, you'd really need to see some before-pictures, but take my word for it, these are much improved.

What do you think? Does this sound like a book you should read?







11 comments:

  1. This is the first book I read when I decided to try photography as a serious hobby (as opposed to taking snapshots of milestone events). I LOVE it... and after reading this review, realize I need to study it again :)

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    1. That's a high recommendation, Molly. I hope to read lots of books about photography in 2016.

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  2. Nice! Looking forward to your photos in the year to come. Happy New Year.

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    1. I hope to publish at least one good photo here each week in 2016.

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  3. Un gran libro, lo reservo para leer en el año próximo.
    Te deseo todo lo mejor para el nuevo año 2016
    Happy 2016

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  4. Beautiful photos! Happy New Year to you!

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  5. Wow, amazing photos. Sounds like an interesting book -- like you say, the title is daunting. May have to look this up. Thanks.

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  6. Sounds like I need to find myself a copy of this book! I want to get better and better at my photography, particularly with the story-telling aspect of it. Beautiful images!

    Stopping by from Images by CW ;)

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  7. Having seen the Oranges picture, definitly I need this book. The light in that shot is just lovely, I smiled as soon as it popped up! Thanks for sharing this - happy new year to you :)

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  8. It does sound like a great book for someone who wants to get more out of their photography then just point and shoot. You are right one would need the 'before' photos to really grasp a difference, but your photos look good and much better than a lot of photos out here on the internet.

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Tell me what you think. But please be kind.