Perception and Imaging
Photography--A Way of Seeing, 4th Edition
Focal Press – 2012 – 402 pages
Focal Press – 2012 – 402 pages
When you look at an image, what do you see and feel? What do you want your audience to see and feel when they view your work? In today's digital age, it has become all too easy to randomly click away, without really focusing on what exactly it is that you are trying to capture in your shot. For over fifteen years, Professor Richard Zakia has been helping thousands of photographers hone in on their creative vision through the inspirational, informative text and images included in his classic book, Perception and Imaging. In this updated fourth edition, Professor Zakia continues to share his wisdom in what is so much more than a step-by-step, technical photography instruction manual. Instead, it explores the fundamental act of photography - in other words, seeing - through a combination of technique, history, visual perception, philosophy, and psychology. Photographers of all levels will benefit from the information in this book, because it will help you to think more clearly about what it is that you want to convey in your images, no matter what level you are at in terms of technical skill.
This is a book on photography and seeing, not just for those who capture and create images, but also for those who use them and write about them. Richard Zakia has a way of writing about photographs that is practical and relevant to how we see things.
With many examples of important photographs, paintings and advertisements, he reminds us that we don't often see all that there is to see. Instead, we tend to limit ourselves to seeing what we expect to see, thus missing the richness of many photographs.
Take, for example, my photograph of "Push?, which is on the cover of Zakia's book. One might look at it and dismiss it as just another photograph of a trash can on a beach. But read what he had to say about it. You will be surprised and delighted by what you will learn and be able to apply to your own photography.
I found this book highly interesting and challenging, and I recommend it to anyone working in photography or related visual disciplines. -Pete Turner
One of the many outstanding features of "Perception and Imaging" is its irresistible friendliness. The layout is engaging, the illustrations varied and absorbing, the quotations from artists delightful and provocative. Whether you are looking for technical information, historical data or graphic challenges you will find it here in an easy-to-access format. Dr. Zakia's vision is all-encompassing: he is equally familiar with a 2000-year-old Sicilian mosaic and the latest in digital concepts. You don't want to miss this one.
Selection; Gestalt Grouping; Memory and Association; Space, Time and Color; Contours; Illusion and Ambiguity; The Morphics; Personality; Subliminals; Critiquing Photographs; Rhetoric; Additional Concepts; Answers to Selected Exercises; Ads from the Past; Bibliography; Index
Richard Zakia is a 1956 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Some of his classmates at the time were Carl Chiarenza, Peter Bunnell, Bruce Davidson, Ken Josephson, Pete Turner and Jerry Uelsmann. Minor White was a member of the faculty and Beaumont Newhall was Adjunct. It was a great and enriching mix. After graduation he was employed as a photographic engineer in the Color Technology Division of Eastman Kodak. During the Sputnik era he decided teaching was his vocation and accepted a position with RIT where he served for 34 years. For a time he was Director of Instructional Research and Development and Chair of the Fine Art Photography Department and graduate program in Imaging Arts. He is a recipient of the Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award. Zakia has authored and co-authored thirteen books on photography and perception. He is also the co-editor with Dr. Leslie Stroebel of the third edition (1993) of The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography and a contributor to the fourth edition (2007). His most recent book is Teaching Photography with Dr. Glen Rand.