Close up and macro is the one genre of photography with probably the easiest access to diversity of subjects. Unlike landscape, you do not have to live on American West or travel often. Unlike fashion, you do not need a willing and patient model. It is enough to look around your house or in your neighborhood, and come up with richness of amazing subjects which can be portrayed in unusual way.
At the same time, close up and macro photography have its own challenges. Choosing the right gear and applying the right technique being the most important. That’s what “Up close. A guide to macro & close up photography” by Andrew S. Gibson is all about.
On 88 spreads of “Up close”, the author covers all the basics. While some of it might seem boring and non-essential, I recommend reading the first pages of theoretical introduction. Among other things, I learned once and for all, in simple terms, what the mysterious “crop factor” is and where it comes from.
Later in “Up close”, you will find detailed discussion of photographic gear allowing you to get closer to your subjects. It includes macro and close-up lenses, extension tubes, reverse lens systems, all accompanied by careful consideration of advantages and disadvantages of each. There is a chapter on lighting, including natural light and flashes, with all the accessories. The technique section includes tips on getting sharp images- focusing, using tripod vs shooting handheld, importance of aperture choice and considering the plane of focus. Among other tips, I loved the one to use the polarizer, I have never applied it in my macro work before and it seems I was missing out!
There is a lot of example images throughout “Up close”. It should make you realize what a variety of subjects can be covered, and how to show everyday items in the new light by just getting close and closer to them. Most of the images are those of the author, however, there are also two case studies. Two macro photographers- Mandy Disher and Celine Steen are showcased, which should inspire you to take another look at what is available in your garden and in your kitchen. They also both share what gear they use, how they find their subjects and give some additional tips.
One surprising recommendation from “Up close” is that neither author nor the showcased photographers insist that you need absolutely to shoot on tripod for better macro or close up images. In fact, their works proves that it is possible to take sharp, beautiful close up photos handheld. I have to admit that I went out right away to my small flower garden in front of my house and tried. It was in the shade, close to sunset, and with raising ISO I was able to take some perfect shots! Yes, many more were not up to standards and went straight to trash. But having creativity not limited by all the moving elements of the tripod to get it up, or down, or to the side was quite liberating!
If you were wondering how to start on your macro photography, or want to incorporate more close up shots for some diversity, “Up close” by Andrew S. Gibson is right for you. And don’t wait, get it now by clicking here to take advantage of the new release specials. If you make your purchase by Saturday, June 24 11:59 pm (PST) and use code CLOSE4 at checkout, you will pay only $4. You can also use the code CLOSE20 to get 20% off and purchase 5 or more e-books from ever growing Craft&Vision collection on variety of photographic subjects.
Other e-books by Andrew S. Gibson:
1. “Magic of black and white” – a trilogy on black and white conversion.
2. “Evocative image” – on using basic photography techniques to create more interesting images.
3. “Beyond thirds” – discussion of composition guidelines.
4. “Square” – a monograph on square crop.
5. “Andes” – a portfolio of imaged from the trips to South America.
The links in this post are affiliate links. I have received a free copy of the e-book for the review purposes. See details of affiliate policy here.