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?