If a photographer’s experience was measured by the total time behind the camera, you might be hard-pressed to find one with more than a few days experience. So what does a professional photographer do with the rest of his time, you ask. Great question. The rest of his job is about seeing creatively, arranging the perfect shot in his mind, making whatever changes are necessary to stage the subject, arrange the perfect lighting and focus, remove the distractions and capture his imagined scene in such a way that he can share it with you.
I’ve always had a love for photography. As a teenager, I was the one dropping off rolls of film at the pharmacy and counting the minutes until I could get my prints back. As a young adult, I shopped the Black Friday brochures looking for the best deal on digital cameras.
These days, I snap pictures with my iPhone 6Plus but I dream of having my own professional equipment again someday and this book is fueling that desire like monsoon winds to a wildfire. But the lessons in Learning to See Creatively, 3rd Edition are not just about taking photographs. Learning how to see creatively is about transforming your vision to create beauty, whatever your passion, whatever your art. The book is 144 pages of wildly imaginative pictures, some naturally occurring, some Photoshopped, all beautiful in their own way. And the author, Bryan Peterson, footnotes each image with details of how and when it was captured – equipment, exposure, filter used – so if you wanted to be a copycat, you could stage your own version of each picture. But creativity has never been just about reproducing someone else’s magic, no matter how easy it is to accomplish; instead, it’s about making something magical yourself. The hints that Mr. Peterson offer could be applied to infinite genres and I find myself wanting to quote him for many other reasons than just about photography – quotes like:
Complacency is our real nemesis; pushing the boundaries is what makes someone successful. p.6
Every photograph has some kind of story behind it… sometimes, we become so focused [on the story] that we are able to forget about the hardships that surround us. p. 22
Start asking more and more the questions What? and What if…? p. 132
Going through the lessons and exercises and suggestions in this book gave me a lot of information about photography but it’s really versatile and can be applied to the aspiring writer, painter, musician or (insert your craft here).
I was really happy Blogging for Books allowed me to review this book. They provided me with a free copy in exchange for my honesty.
Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition is available for purchase on Amazon (affiliate links included) and would make a great gift for someone you know could use a little validation that you support their artistic endeavors. Additionally, the photos are so interesting, the book would look great on your coffee-table.
Other Non-Fiction books I have reviewed recently:
Shared with Grace