Quick Book Review: “Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography” by Bryan Peterson
This book first came out in 1988. A revised second edition was published in 2003, and this third edition was updated in 2015. Peterson’s photography books are very popular, and after reading this one, I understand why. He has a very down-to-earth style, and he supports his lessons and recommendations with many excellent photographic examples. I still consider myself a novice photographer, in awe of photographers who seem to have an inherent creative ability. Peterson believes that creativity isn’t something that you’re necessarily born with. He says that it’s a skill that you can learn, and his explanations about what makes a striking image, i.e. the use of line, shape, form, texture, pattern, and color, nicely illustrate the point. Although his lessons are geared toward traditional photographers (those using DSLR cameras with a variety of lenses), I absorbed quite a bit of useful information even though I limit my photography to the iPhone. If, after reading a photography book, I find myself itching to run outside and start shooting because of a ramped-up burst of inspiration, then the author has done his job, and that’s what happened while reading this book. In fact, I was reading this book while sitting in a park, and after his chapters on composition, I closed the book, got up, and started looking at the park with a new set of eyes.