Aspicus and the Art of Photography

From Snapper to Shooter (hopefully)

The Photographer’s Eye – Michael Freeman

I bought The Photographer’s Eye the other week based on reviews on Amazon.  I didn’t notice the author until I started reading it and:

a) recognised some of the concepts in the opening chapter from the TAOP course

b) recognised some of example images in the opening chapter from the TAOP course! (for example the boat in Project 6)

Michael Freeman is of couse the author of the TAOP course and the foundation for the course is obviously this book.  I don’t think you could just buy the book and avoid the course however.  The course is much more inclusive – it asks you to go and try things out (plus of course you get tutor feedback/assistance, assignments etc), whereas this book covers a lot more of the theoretical underpinning ideas behind the concepts.   In fact I find the book to be an excellent complement to the course – the two seem to work very well together.  The course is good for leading you through the ideas in a very practical sense, making you try things out, and come to own conclusions, while the book gives a deeper understanding of why things are so, and what Michael Freeman is trying to drive home in the course notes from his own experiences.

The book is written in a very similar style to the course (which is hardly surprising) – very accessible and avoiding any art or techno babble (well most of it anyway – lots of use of words like “dynamic” and “static” images, but these are explained, and the course practicals give a very good basis to understand what these actually mean).  I do wonder why the OCA didn’t offer this book as a complement to the course material rather than the history book?  It could be that they didn’t want people racing ahead in the reading (each chapter in the book is typically a couple of pages long), or perhaps they wanted something a bit different from the course notes.

Whatever their reasons I seriously recommend this book to anyone on the TAOP course in particular. It will help them in their coursework a lot. You can get it from the usual online shops.

Martin Freeman has quite a few books out there dealing with lighting, photographing people etc, and if they are as deep and yet accessible as this then I shall probably pick them up at some point too?

Out of interest – does anyone know whether the other photographic OCA courses follow any of the other Martin Freeman books?

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10 May 2009 - Posted by | Books

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