Life and work
Patterson was born at Long Reach, New Brunswick. He earned a B.A. from Acadia University and was granted a fellowship to study at Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University. While in New York, he studied photography and design. After completing three years there, he taught for three more years in Edmonton before finally deciding to pursue photography full-time.
Books on photographic techniques and theory by Patterson
- Photography for the Joy of It (1977, 2006)
- Photography and the Art of Seeing (1979, 2006)
- Photography of Natural Things (1982, 2006)
Books of nature photography by Patterson
- Namaqualand: Garden of the Gods (1984)
- Portraits of Earth (1987)
- In a Canadian Garden (1989)
- The Last Wilderness: Images of the Canadian Wild (1990)
- One Planet, One Man (1994)
Books of nature photography with one other
- Photo Impressionism and The Subjective Image (2001) – co-authored with Andre Gallant
Awards and recognition
- Gold Medal for Photographic Excellence, from the National Film Board of Canada (1967)
- Elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art (1975)
- Highest recognition (EFIAP) from the International Federation of Photographic Art (1975)
- Honorary fellowship (Hon. F.P.S.S.A.) in the Photographic Society of Southern Africa (1976)
- Gold Medal for Distinction in Photography, from the National Association for Photographic Art (1984)
- Member of the Order of Canada (1985)
- The Progress Medal, from the Photographic Society of America (1990) 
- The Strathbutler Award (1997)
- The Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Nature Photography Association (2001)
- Honorary fellowship in the Nature Photography Society of New Zealand (2004)
- Honorary Director of the North American Native Plant Society
- Member of the Order of New Brunswick (2013)
- Freeman Wilford Patterson Archived 2011-09-22 at the Wayback Machine, The Canadian Encyclopedia.
- "Freeman Patterson : Biography". Freeman Patterson. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- Joel Jacobson, "Freeman Patterson 'Through life's lens'" Archived 2014-04-11 at the Wayback Machine
- "Freeman Patterson: Honours & Awards". Freeman Patterson. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- "The Governor General of Canada". Government of Canada. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- "PSA: Previous Recipients". Photographic Society of America. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- Ruet, Karen (4 March 2006). "The Strathbutler". New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. Saint John, NB. p. A7.
- "The North American Nature Photography Association - NANPA Awards". North American Nature Photography Association. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
- "North American Native Plant Society - NANPS Board". Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "2013 Order of New Brunswick recipients".