[PDF] Capturing Light ~ The Heart of Photography - Michael Freeman

Discussion in 'Photo eBooks' started by anonzzz, 14 Aug 2018.

  1. anonzzz

    anonzzz Moderator

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    In almost all photography it’s the quality of light that makes or breaks the shot. For professional photographers, chasing the light, waiting for it, sometimes helping it, and finally capturing it is a constant preoccupation ― and for some an obsession.

    Drawing on four decades of doing just this, Michael Freeman takes a simple but practical approach to reacting to, and capturing photography’s most important commodity.

    There are just three sections titled Waiting, Chasing, and Helping: Waiting explains the kinds of lighting that photographers can anticipate and plan for, while Chasing explores the transient, serendipitous light that photographers have to work quickly to exploit. Helping, the final and most technical section, focuses on the skills and techniques for enhancing, reducing, or otherwise controlling light, covering everything from in-the-field shooting choices to technical transformations to post-production.

    Michael Freeman, professional photographer and author, with more than 100 book titles to his credit, was born in England in 1945, took a Masters in geography at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and then worked in advertising in London for six years. He made the break from there in 1971 to travel up the Amazon with two secondhand cameras, and when Time-Life used many of the pictures extensively in the Amazon volume of their World's Wild Places series, including the cover, they encouraged him to begin a full-time photographic career.

    Since then, working for editorial clients that include all the world's major magazines, and notably the Smithsonian Magazine (with which he has had a 30-year association, shooting more than 40 stories), Freeman's reputation has resulted in more than 100 books published. Of these, he is author as well as photographer, and they include more than 40 books on the practice of photography - for this photographic educational work he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture. He is also responsible for the distance-learning courses on photography at the UK's Open College of the Arts.

    Freeman's books on photography have been translated into fifteen languages, and are available on other Amazon international sites.

    They are supported for readers by a regularly updated site, http://thefreemanview.com


    There are probably three things I've purchased in the last few years that have fundamentally changed the way I shoot and improved the quality of pictures I make. The three things are: moving to full frame, getting Freeman's Photographer's Eye, and now this book Capturing Light.

    I've made substantial investment in the last few years procuring a nice set of gear, namely, Canon 6D, 24-70 2.8mk2, Sigma 35 1.4, 135L, 100Lmacro, among others. For a regualr joe like myself, this is a lot of money. Although I saw my photos improving, I always felt that something's missing. The subject looks sharp, the bokeh is gorgeous, and the scene is properly exposed. What's missing?

    Then I stumbled across Freeman's Photograher's Eye series (along with Photographer's Mind, Story, ect). It's at that point I realized I was only a gearhead who didn't understand enough about basic elements in photography such as composition and exposure. Without digressing too much, it's after reading Photographer's Eye that I began to compose more creatively and received great feedback from people around me. Photography is similar to painting in that composition and how different graphic elements are put together is far more important than resolution.

    Now I'm sure you've heard of people mention the beauty of the golden hour (sunrise and sunset), and that other times of the day aren't good enough for photos in terms of quality of light. I bought this concept and for a long while I only shot during those golden hours. After reading this book I came to realize how many opportunities I missed because of such misconception. There's one example in the book that showcases a scene of a backlit building. I was amazed that Freeman was able to incorporate a huge tree with its deep shadow, using it as a graphic element to strengthen the composition. In other words he turned a problem into a creative solution.

    Another example from the book that blew me away is tungsten light against dark blue sky. I was always under the impression that tungsten light was ugly and I always tried to stay away from it. Little do I know that it could be so beautiful against deep blue sky (during the time after the sun has arleady set below the horizon). You'll learn a great deal more from the examples in the book.

    I feel enlightened and empowered. Freeman opened my eyes to many more possibilities. I feel that now I have fresh eyes to see everything around me, and the options are no longer limited to sunset. The book is not meant to be a manual. You can't think, in this scenario I'm going to copy what he did in the book. What I gained the most is a new way of appreciating light. It is precisely the lack of such quality that made my pictures so repetitive and dull, and I'm proud to feel that I've grown out of it. Even a gray cloudy day can offer photo opportunities. Certain things actually look better under such condition.

    He shows quite many pictures taken in pre-digital days, and it's incredible how he could nail the exposure just right. A new habit for me now is to look at a scene and mentally calculate how to expose it the way I want. I feel like I'm learning photography properly from an experienced teacher. Read his other book The Perfect Exposure.

    Let me say this again. I honestly think that going full frame and having read these two books help me substantially more than the expensive gear I acquired. The low price of this book belies the weight of its substance. It's so worth it that I wouldn't even mind paying 10, 20 times as much for what I gained. It certainly doesn't hurt that the book is only 20 bucks. What a steal.
    I have been doing photography for a long time and have taken (expensive) workshops at some well known photo schools. I have gotten as much out of this book as from some of those workshops that cost $500 or more. Mr. Freeman shows an example of a lighting situation, writes about how he chose to deal with it and shows us the photo he took. He also shows photos he took which were not selected as "the best" and explains why. He deals with lots of lighting situations, not just "perfect" light and explains how good images can be made, even when one does not have time to wait for lovely morning or evening light, or the sky is overcast or a number of other situations which people generally consider problems. I also appreciate that Mr. Freeman is able to put the styles and photographs into the larger context of the "photography world" explaining why certain styles are popular, or where they are frequently used. He offers ideas for breaking out of the usual lighting approaches and making a good photo with what you have in front of you. Some of the things I have already done, by luck or accident, but it is nice to bring some mindfulness and thought to the process, rather than just stumbling on a scene "that looks cool". It was interesting to be able to see the thought process of a professional and what went into making the images. I highly recommend this book. I'm not a fan of hyperbole generally but I truly think this book could change the way you make pictures by opening up new possibilities and ways of thinking about light as much or more than an expensive (and who knows what you will get) workshop.


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  2. h1ghm1nd

    h1ghm1nd p-v.club fan

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    Looking for mirrors.
  3. xiaoyuer

    xiaoyuer Legend

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  4. JohnDo

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    New working Link !!!

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  5. onebrightspark

    onebrightspark Rookie

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    Awesome thank you