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Michael Freeman was born in England in 1945, studied at Brasenose College, Oxford University, where he has a Masters Degree in Geography, and then worked in advertising in London for six years. In 1971 he made the break from advertising to travel up the Amazon. The resulting pictures were used extensively by Time-Life Books for the first book in the series The World's Wild Places - on the cover and throughout The Amazon volume. With the encouragement of Time-Life (his first client), Freeman began a full-time photographic career in 1973.
Akha Tea Picking
Xinbanzhang, near Menghai, Yunnan, China
A leading photographer for the Smithsonian Magazine for three decades, Freeman's work has been widely published internationally in all major magazines, including GEO, the Sunday Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Life, International Wildlife, Stern, Paris-Match, the Telegraph Magazine, the Observer, the Independent, Design Magazine, GQ Magazine, National Geographic, Omni, Condé Nast Traveler, Illustrated London News, Merian, Newsweek,
Asahi Shimbum among many others.
Freeman's book clients include Reader's Digest, Time-Life Books, Smithsonian Books, and many more. He has published 113 books to date, of which 70 he also wrote as well as photographed. He specializes in two distinct areas: documentary reportage along with contemporary design and architecture.
Tea Tree Ancestor Ceremony
Pa Ai Leng Shan, Jingmai, Yunnan, China
In 2005 he published a major photographic book, the 336-page Sudan: Land and People. His latest large work of documentary reportage photography is The Tea Horse Road. This 340-page book took two years to photograph, and covers one of the longest trade routes in the ancient world, between southwest China and Tibet, carrying tea in one direction and war horses in the other,
fromthe7th century to the middle of the 20th.
Meng Shan Tea Mountain
Mingshan County, Yaán, Sichuan, China
Michael Freeman is also the author of 50 books on photography, published in 18 languages, with more than one and a half million copies sold, including the best-sellers The 35mm Handbook, The Complete Guide to Digital Photography (the latter now in its third edition and in 13 languages), and most recently
The Photographer’s Eye.
For the Photography Workshop series (published by Amphoto in the United States and Harper Collins in England) he was awarded the Prix Louis Philippe Clerc from the Musée Française de la Photographie in Bièvres, France. He was consultant for, and appeared in, a BBC Television photography series. He has also judged the Nikon Press Awards and has designed, written and continues to supervise all of the British Open College of the Arts photography courses (which can now accumulate to a BA Honours degree, the first photography degree
available through distance learning in the UK).
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