Psychology, Philosophy and Practice for Advancing One's Photography

This entry is my book review for  Michael Freeman: The Photograher's Mind.

As all kinds of cameras becoming ubiquitous, sheer volume of pictures explode, there is more and more democracy in the appreciation of good photography. What makes a good photography? Is there really any standard nowadays? And, if yes, how to achieve the quality? Mr. Michael Freeman has tried to answer these questions in a series of books.

In the first book of the series The Photographer's Eye, he addressed some aspects of a solid composition: gestalt theory,  right choices of tools for different purposes,  necessary skills for capturing one's idea, etc. The Photographer's Mind is the second book in this series. It starts right from where the first book ends: the psychological study of what makes a good composition. After all, once you've learnt your tools, got your hands swift enough and known the gestalt rules, you'll need to know more about what makes a good photography in order to advance. This enters the realm of psychology. However elusive this topic is, in Chapter 1: Intent of this book, the author analyses the psychology of photo appreciation in seven selected aspects, largely focusing on the choice of arrangement of the image contents.

Chapter 2: Style is more on available options of graphical styles to go for rendering your intent. This chapter goes further in the field of gestalt philosophy of composition.

Chapter 3: Process talks about practice. Concrete methods for building a sophisticated compositional mind are discussed here. The author is a good guide.

Like Mr. Freeman's other books,  this book is again elaborated in stylish and non-pretentious text. A real pleasure to read as essays. Points are also explained or presented with content-rich and beautiful photographs, as well as informative illustrations. Each section in chapter 1 and 2 provides an "extended reading" subsection. The materials suggested in extended readings surely widen the horizon of your photographic mind.

I strongly recommend this book to people having ambition of advancing the quality of their photographs, or sheerly enjoying intellectual contemplation from reading good English.    

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