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Learning to See Creatively
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Learning to See Creatively

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,174 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
- New edition of a best-selling title
- Updated to include digital
- All new artwork, and a totally revised and expanded text
- All-new section on color as a design element
- Written by one of Amphoto's best-selling authors
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 1st 1988 by Amphoto Books
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Jul 22, 2010 Kerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: everything
Learning to See Creatively was a bit a disappointment for me. It seems odd to say this since I am still really a beginner in terms of photography but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot there that I didn’t know already. And for the most part, each concept was discussed rather superficially, then followed by a selection of photos that illustrated over and over again the very basic information that the author presented.

For someone completely new to photography and composition, the second and thir
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Learning to see creatively. Wow. Think about that. What a huge and bold title for a book. Is seeing creatively something we can teach? Or learn? And, if so, how?

Bryan Peterson takes on this task. But he doesn't seize the reigns of teaching-to-see-creatively lightly. After all, this is the third edition; Peterson has been grappling with the ideas in this book since 1988. Peterson is no novice to photography, to creativity; his website reminds us that he has been a successful commercial photograph
May 21, 2015 Ahmad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
بدک نیس، ولی میتونست بهتر توضیح بده. آدم یه جورایی سردرگم میشه وسطای خوندن کتاب. ...more
Amanda Tero
Sep 05, 2015 Amanda Tero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I finished this book, I had my camera in hand and was outside taking pictures. Though I am not inclined to be an abstract photographer, the tips in this book were very helpful and got my wheels turning.

Peterson comes from his thirty-plus years of experience to address Expanding Your Vision, Elements of Design, Composition, The Magic of Light, and Photoshop. His style is very rounded out, from traditional landscapes to modern abstract photographs. The books is full of beautiful images and
Helpful tips. Bryan Peterson’s approach to photography will open your eyes to the possibilities that your camera can create.
Susan Barton
Bryan Peterson is a well-known photography expert, instructor and author, with several highly popular publications on the subject, as well as being the founder of The Bryan Peterson School of Photography. When it comes to photography, Mr. Peterson clearly knows what he's talking about.

Learning to See Creatively is in its third publication and it's easy to see why it's been such a hit with new and experienced photographers. With all new photos, this latest edition is sure to provide the perfect
Sep 02, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Using Your Camera Creatively

Familiarity with your camera and lenses to the point where you don't have to think constantly about the technical details, leads to more creative photos. This is what Peterson suggests. Play with you camera and lenses. Lie on your back and look up, climb a tree and look down, use different lenses to capture the same scene and evaluate the differences. He includes an exercise that while time consuming is designed to accomplish this.

In addition to his suggestions for de
Useful for Beginners and Pros Alike

(Full disclosure: I received a free book for review through Blogging for Books.)

Originally published in 1988 and revised in 2003, the third edition of Bryan Peterson's Learning to See Creatively is all-new, completely rewritten and re-illustrated, with a brand new section on Photoshop. This is my first Peterson book but, judging from some of the other reviews, he seems to be a well-known and respected photography author and instructor.

And it's easy to see why:
Online Eccentric Librarian

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Bryan Peterson's books have long been the first learning step of any new photographer - and for good reason. Friendly, informative, inspiring, but very easy-to-digest, pick any book he's written on the subject of photography and you'll find a gem. With this Third Edition of the popular Learning To See Creatively series, he's made very smart changes that make this a must read for any one looking to understand how to creat
Jan 17, 2016 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good introductory level book into the elements of style and composition. The explanations were a quick read and the photos explaining the concepts were clear yet eye-opening to a beginning photographer. The technical info next to the photographs would also be a benefit to intermediate photographers wanting to manually use SLR features. Short enough to read quickly, yet inspiring enough to make me want to go out with my camera in the middle of this winter!
Mar 03, 2016 Leonard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read all the text in this book but could tell from looking at the photos that the author was stretching at the boundaries of being creative. Artists, photographers and even poets and others writers are often inspired by the work of others to reach for new levels of creativity themselves. This book could do that for a photographer who may be looking for new inspiration.
Oct 28, 2014 Katerina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing book for those who have just started photography. It contains the basics of photography like composition, light, color, main lens types, etc. A great amount of illustrations makes it easier to learn. I also enjoyed the exercises the author offers in the book - they can really be helpful in finding new angles and seeing things in a different way.
Autumn Shuler
Though I'm very new to photography and am looking for any help I can get making my pictures better, this one just didn't do it for me. I read Understanding Photography by the same author right before I picked this one up, which may have colored my view. A lot of this book is taken straight from Understanding Photography, so I felt that it was a waste of my time.

That being said, it may work better for you. Give it a shot. If nothing else, the photos inside are gorgeous.
Chaitanya Aggarwal
The one and only book that changed my photography. After getting comfortable with your camera with help from Scott Kelbys, this is a must read and not just a read, this one is to be each word.
Mazzou B
As a photographer, albeit an amateur, I was immediately interested in the title and content of this new book. This version is an updated one of a favorite guide by Bryan Peterson. I found each chapter incredibly helpful and informative, and am looking forward to incorporating many of the ideas into my future photography. Surprisingly for a book on this topic, there were only two pictures which needed some ''editing''. Most of the book is family-friendly and fascinating. Sometimes even talented ...more
Pandeeswaran Bhoopathy
Yet another master piece from Bryan. This book mainly covers the composition techniques and how to come up with an creative composition in various scenarios.
It's one of the wonderful write up from Bryan. It Would be definitely useful for all the level of photographers.
Dec 24, 2015 hissi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, how-to
beginner's guide to photography and lenses used in photography
Aug 26, 2015 Nada rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r-bb
Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography by Bryan Peterson is built on the idea that creativity and the art of seeing from behind a camera lens can be taught. With a conversational writing style, detailed photographic examples, and exercises for me to try, the book is a great expansion of the resources I have to improve my photography.

Read my complete review at:

Reviewed for the Blogging for Books program
May 07, 2014 Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very simple and full of beautiful examples that help capture the point Bryan is teaching.
I look forward to finding and reading the latest edition of this book, since it's somewhat promising. Though it isn't stuffed with earth-shattering revelations, it's nonetheless a solid enough set of reminders and bits of inspiration. I know many of these things, but I still need the occasional reminder to lie on my stomach and get a new perspective on a scene.

It's tough for anyone to write a how-to book using their own work as examples--there's an awful lot of self-congratulatory writing.
Oct 13, 2013 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-skills
This is the first book on photography I've read, and I thought it was a great overview of topics and methods along with some technical suggestions. Peterson has a great voice throughout the entire book and I feel inspired to go shoot. It's a book I'd like to have on my shelf and feel I'd reference when needing inspiration.
Good style exercise: take 75 of your pictures and tally how many are dominated by lines, shapes, firms, textures, patterns, and colors.
Jun 12, 2009 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
Not quite as good as Understanding Exposure, a criticism that's really praising with faint damnation. Purely technical aspects are much easier to quickly impart, where trying to teach aesthetic sense is probably darn near impossible.

There are certainly ways to learn how to look at the world in a different way by thinking about the lessons here. Definitely something to return to for constant meditation.
This book really helped challenge me to purposefully compose my pictures to convey a meaning to the viewer. In the past, I have simply taken snapshots to remember things, and now I am doing that, plus making a statement. Learning to See Creatively helped jumpstart my ability to look for photos. Consequently, I am less disappointed when knowingly "bad photos" don't turn out.
Apr 02, 2016 Bru82 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
I've to say that the book organisation doesn't make much sense to me, some arguments and reference are quite randomly put into the pages.
There are really good examples that can help somebody with not much photography experience like me, but if you need to go in deep, look elsewhere.
I really liked Understanding Exposure by the same author, this time Peterson's work falls short
Jan 25, 2008 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great primer for aspiring photographers. If you've ever wondered what the "rule of thirds" is (as I did), or needed some guidance in matters of composition, then this is the book I'd recommend first. I liked the fact that the author didn't overwhelm me with discussion of technicalities, but instead focussed on compositional techniques that work with just about any decent camera.
Laura Motush
May 23, 2008 Laura Motush rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is for younger kids. The photographs are very bright and would be interesting to look at, especially for kids. It also introduces the elements of design as they pertain to photography as well as composition, light, digital photography, and even career considerations in photography. I could see this as an introductory book to photography for the young.
Jan 01, 2008 Joshua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exposure is understandable because it's mostly about physics - light per second through the lens, and the blurring you get with a larger apeture. Though those things have graphic implications, where and how you point the lens is the lion's share of the abstract/design part of photography. This book broke that complexity down in a comprehendable and memorable way.
Carlos Quijano
Nothing groundbreaking or earth-shattering in this book. Just very simple and basic advice on how to compose a photograph. Nonetheless, Peterson does manage to simplify many things, something he is very good at. I would still recommend this book, especially for beginners, just for that reason alone before moving on to more in-depth studies of composition.
Oct 16, 2012 Gary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not very deep, and probably of use if you have no imagination.
Ok, that is probably rather unfair, but if you've already tried to take interesting photographs and are looking for inspiration to change the way you look at the world, most of this will probably have already come to mind.

Ok if you're new to photography.
Mar 09, 2008 Darren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
An excellent book for the amateur looking to improve.

Unlike Brian's outstanding book on Exposure, this book challenges you to look at scenes in different and more interesting ways.

Once you understand exposure, you still need to see what is worth capturing and this book helps you do that.
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Bryan F. Peterson has been a full-time commercial photographer since 1981, shooting assignments all over the world for many of the Fortune 500 companies, including Kodak, UPS, and American Expiress. He is also a contract stock photographer for Corbis and Getty. He has been a contributing editor at Outdoor Photographer Magazine and is currently a contributing editor at Popular Photography and Imagi ...more
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