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Macro Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

Book Description

Close-up and macro photography is one of the most popular types of photography among digital photographers today. After the big-range zoom,  a macro lens is typically one of the next purchases considered by serious outdoor photographers and amateur photographers looking for close-up capability in all zoom lenses.

Yet hobbyist photographers struggle. Many macro shots just don’t make it–not sharp, confusing backgrounds, muddled compositions, misplaced sharpness, and distracting light. Even more advanced photographers find challenges working with depth of field, dealing with light, and using different focal lengths up close.

You need a book that goes beyond the camera manuals to teach you how to select and use various lenses to take great macro shots. This guide by pro photographer Rob Sheppard will help you conquer the fundamentals and capture stunning pictures.

Sheppard starts with the basics. He discusses factors such as depth of field, perspective, and compression and which types of lenses are right for your style of shooting. You will have a better understanding of your equipment and understand your choices for investing in lenses.

Beautifully illustrated with large, compelling photos, this book teaches you how to take control of your photography to get the image you want every time you pick up the camera.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication Page
  4. Acknowledgements
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
    1. Welcome to a Special World
  7. 1. Exploring New Worlds
    1. Photography and discovery
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. World of the Small
    4. Sometimes You Just Gotta Get the Close-Up
    5. Close-Up and Macro Defined
    6. Close-Ups Have Impact
    7. Small Cautions
    8. Chapter 1 Assignments
  8. 2. How to Get Close
    1. The macro lens and beyond
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. Close-Up Gear
    4. Using the Gear You Have
    5. Achromatic Close-Up Lenses
    6. Extension Tubes
    7. Other Options
    8. My Gear
    9. Shooting Macro in B&W
    10. Chapter 2 Assignments
  9. 3. Mastering Macro Sharpness
    1. Sharp photos up close require special attention
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. The Camera Movement Challenge
    4. Chapter 3 Assignments
  10. 4. Optimal Focusing
    1. Focus point, depth of field, and sharpness
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. The Focusing Challenge
    4. The Depth of Field Challenge
    5. Chapter 4 Assignments
  11. 5. The Environmental Lens
    1. Using wide focal lengths up close
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. Surroundings and Environment
    4. Depth of Field for the Wide Shot
    5. Challenging Compositions
    6. Depth and Space
    7. Watch Your Light
    8. Chapter 5 Assignments
  12. 6. Isolation Focal Lengths
    1. Using telephoto focal lengths for macro shooting
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. Macro and Close
    4. Flower Portraits
    5. Shallow Depth of Field
    6. Parallel Focus
    7. Pick Your Background
    8. Isolation and Emphasis
    9. Perspective
    10. Working Distance
    11. Chapter 6 Assignments
  13. 7. Light on the Close-Up
    1. Great possibilities for light up close
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. We Don’t Always See the Light
    4. Light Interactions
    5. Chapter 7 Assignments
  14. 8. Adding Light on the Close-Up
    1. Sometimes you need to bring your own light
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. Why Use Added Light
    4. The Off-Camera Light
    5. Working With Flash
    6. Flash Exposure
    7. Balancing Backgrounds
    8. Not Just Flash
    9. Chapter 8 Assignments
  15. 9. The Importance of Backgrounds
    1. Pay attention to both your subject and background
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. Background Is a Choice
    4. The Simplified Background
    5. The Complex Background
    6. Background Distractions
    7. The Simple White Background
    8. Chapter 9 Assignments
  16. 10. Flowers, Bugs, and Other Subjects
    1. Tips and techniques for specific subjects
    2. Poring Over the Picture
    3. Flowers
    4. Insects
    5. Spiders
    6. Mosses and Lichens
    7. Details and Abstracts
    8. Combining the Landscape With the Close-Up
    9. Conclusion
    10. Chapter 10 Assignments
  17. Index