Best of the League Award – Freeman Patterson

As many of you know, Samantha and I started League magazine and the League of Landscape Photographers as an outlet for photographic creativity with a conscience. League members photograph the world around them in accordance with high ethical standards and they make imagery with purpose, meaning and integrity. League photographs engage, question and challenge the viewer. League and the League of Landscape Photographers seek to raise landscape photography to a personal expressive art that comments on the world around us.

Samantha and I always acknowledge and reward those in the photographic community who are doing exceptional work and who inspire and teach others to do the same. We can think of no other photographer in Canada (or the world, for that matter) who has done so much to raise landscape and nature photography to an art form and to encourage photographers to express their creative vision than Freeman Patterson. Many of you will know Freeman and will have been influenced, inspired and moved by his work. Freeman’s influence weaves through both Sam and my work and our teachings. Indeed, we think that subconsciously Freeman’s influence germinated the seed which became League. So who better to honour with the inaugural Best of the League Award than Freeman Patterson?

For those photographers not familiar with Freeman’s work, we highly recommend you head to your nearest library or book store and pick up at least one of his many books on photography, creativity and seeing. Our three personal favorites and a must read for all expressive photographers are Photography and the Art of Seeing, Photographing the World Around You – A Visual Design Workshop and Embracing Creation. We also highly recommend any of his life-altering (no exaggeration) workshops – anyone who has been on a Freeman workshop will talk and talk and talk your ear off about how amazing it was!

Talking creative expression is all the rage in photography right now especially in the wake of all the fascination with the gear of digital capture. But Freeman laid the foundation long ago by teaching photographers to embrace their creative self. So much of what is in vogue today by those teaching ‘creative vision’ is based directly or indirectly on Freeman’s early teachings. Thanks to Freeman we can all finally move away from gear and technique into what truly matters, create self-awareness and develop personal expression.

For all of Freeman’s influence, his respect for people and the environment, his tireless sharing and mentoring of photographers, and for his lifetime body of artful, thoughtful images, we are honoured to award Freeman the Best of the League Award! We are thrilled that Freeman shared with us a moving story and portfolio of images that will be published in League this September. Subscriptions to League end June 30 so if you want this collectible magazine on your book shelf subscribe now!



About the Author

I am a Canadian landscape and outdoor photographer who loves long hikes in the woods, yummy food, hairy dogs, good company and a good guitar jam.


  1. Allison George
    June 13, 2017

    This warms my heart so much that Freeman Patterson is your choice for the recipient of the Best of League Award…

  2. Allison George
    June 13, 2017

    This warms my heart so much that Freeman Patterson is the recipient of this award

    • Allison George
      June 13, 2017

      sorry for leaving two comments…lol

  3. Al Hart
    June 17, 2017

    A thousand or so years ago – I think it was 1992 – I attended a New Brunswick workshop led by Freeman Patterson. How different it was from so many other workshops!

    I remember only a few of the many techniques Patterson used to force students to “see” and to find images. Can you think of how to make 36 different images of a common egg? Can you think of how to make 36 different images of a bed sheet, being sure that there’s a story behind each? Those were typical assignments handed to each participant.

    Standing out in my mind, is Patterson’s absolute refusal to discuss gear. As is usual, several students pestered him throughout the week to divulge what kind of camera, what kind of lens, etc., he used, but Patterson resolutely ignored those questions and refused to discuss the matter. I recall that only on the last day of the workshop did he finally reveal he had used a Minolta, but his secrecy-purpose has never been lost on me.

  4. Tim Baker
    June 22, 2017

    I attended my first Freeman Patterson seminar in 1980 in Kingston, Ont. It was my first venture into “serious” photography. It changed my mindset from taking a good travel pictures to taking an interesting image. After 37 years he is still the yardstick by which I measure my photos.

  5. Curso-Fotografia-BSellmer
    June 26, 2017

    It is not easy to teach people the effort is not result. It is easy to get the most from the camera setting, difficult is get people creative.


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