Freeman Patterson

CBC Radio broadcast a 54 minute interview with Freeman Patterson on October 13, 2010. I recommend setting aside an hour to click on the link and listen to that interview. Whether you are a professional photographer, an experienced amateur or just starting out with your first point and shoot, there is something in it for you.

I first met Freeman when I heard him speak and show some of his outstanding photographs at a Toronto Camera Club lecture in 1971. I was just a beginning photographer who had recently abandoned my 16 year old Brownie Hawkeye for a brand new Nikkormat FTn with a removable 50mm f/2 lens and still had not figured out what all those dials with the mysterious numbers were used for. More than talking about the nuts and bolts of photography, though, Freeman talked about his philosophical approach. That spoke to me. I’ve since met Freeman several more times, most recently in April, 2004 in Burlington, Ontario when he gave an all-day seminar on Visual Design. Each time, I’m reminded that the camera sees both ways, out into the world and back into your soul.

Freeman has written several books that I highly recommend:

  1. Photography for the Joy if it;
  2. Photography and the Art of Seeing;
  3. Photography of Natural Things;
  4. Photographing the World Around You (A Visual Design Workshop);
  5. Photo Impressionism and the Subjective Image (with André Gallant);

in addition to several collections of his work in both Canada and Africa. As technology has evolved, Freeman has revised his books and so most are now  available in revised second and third editions. I recommend reading them in the order I listed them since each builds on material presented in previous books. All are available on where you can also check out the contents and read a bit of the first chapter. However, I recommend you support the author by buying directly from his website.

Freeman has given photography workshops at his home in Shamper’s Bluff, New Brunswick for many years.  I have never been fortunate enough to go but several friends experienced a transformation in their photographs after attending. Both his workshop and seminar schedules are published on his website.

Freeman Patterson is an icon of Canadian photography.


One response to “Freeman Patterson

  1. A quick update: Freeman is presenting his ‘Visual Design Workshop’ from 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday, November 13, 2010 in Sarnia, Ontario. Admission $50. I plan to be there. For more information please contact the sponsor, the Sarnia Photographic Club,

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