Friday, July 31, 2015

"Learning to see creatively" is just the lesson this amateur photographer needed!

 I have always loved the "idea" of creative photography. I see a beautiful sunset or even a messy but precious mundane moment with my boys and I think to myself- "I would love to have this captured in a photo." But the quandary is, how to get from the picture in your mind to the image on the back of your camera. Photography is an art form but also a learned skill set.
    A couple of years ago, just as our family began to grow and there were fleeting moments in time that needed capturing, my wonderful husband bought me a Canon rebel camera. That was the best gift he has ever gotten me! I loved having a nice camera to take photos of all the kids firsts and growth. After learning some of the technical skills needed to make the most of that camera, I decided it would be fun to "upgrade" to a full frame with a new level of potential. So just recently I bought a new to me, old news to the rest of the world Canon 5D. I bought it and a 85mm lens used and. Am so excited to have new equipment and capacities to capture snapshots of my life.
  A great guide to start my new creative journey with has been "Learning to see creatively" by Bryan Peterson. This is actually a classic photography textbook that has been around for some time but was just recently revised. It provides so much great information on just how to go from seeing a creative image in your mind and making hay a reality on your camera. The first section focuses on how to find those unique shots, the science behind cameras and the advantages of different lenses. This is a great starting place as the first step is figuring out which lense will achieve the "feel" your are going for. 
  The book moves on to the "elements of design" which covers the creative elements such as line, shape, form, texture, pattern, and color. There are so many awesome images through the this book to actually illustrate these different elements. It is so helpful to actually be able to see what Peterson is writing about, words don't do a lot of justice when it comes to photography! Peterson really enjoys the use of color in his work and proceeds to write up a section and color coordinated images for each of he primary colors.
  He then moves on to the topic of composition and goes into details about how to actually compose your desired shot. He discusses filling the frame up with your subject to connect your viewer with your subject. The advantages of your horizontal vs. vertical- each perspective can produce an awesome image. Of course, he covers the classic "rule of thirds" which is a great stand by for a well composed photo. Another neat idea is to find a natural frame within your shot to frame your subject. I appreciated that he added at the end of the chapter his section on "Breaking the Rules." Peterson explains how sometimes the most creative images come from going against the suggested rules of photography and composing your own view. 
   The book goes on to cover the use of light in photos and the magic it can create. It gives some great examples of the same subject photographed at different times of the day to show the difference in perspective. The direction of light and its influence is covered as well.
  The last chapter is on the use of photoshop. It gives a lot of great tips on how to master this complex software and make it work the best for you.I really appreciated this short chapter as I have had photoshop for awhile but Am still somewhat baffled by it!
 This book will be a great resource to have on hand while continuing on my photography journey. While I am more interested in pursuing lifestyle type photography, as I have young kids to practice on, I enjoy the creative tips and image inspiration shared in this book! Hopefully, as I get some practice in with my new camera, I will have some images to share wiith you all!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

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