heron taking flight at sunrise

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Macro Course Description

Macro photography is a style of photography all unto t that allows you to explore the small world around us. The first thought about macro photography brings about visions of flowers, but it's much more than that. Patterns, textures, shapes, bugs, leaves and more are all part of world of macro photography. This course will lead you through an exploration of all things small, starting with all the various options in equipment that can be used to understanding how to control depth of field, using light to your advantage and composition. Andy will let both beginners as well as somewhat advanced macro enthusiasts find different ways to get the most out of this intimate subject.

A general understanding of how f/stops work as well as having some type of equipment to let you take close-up shots is required.

Subjects to be covered by lesson

1. Equipment Options / Learning How to Use Depth of Field
Several options exist as to what type of equipment is available in order to do close-up photography. Close-up filters, extension tubes, macro lenses, and teleconverters will be explained and how they work and what's best for the journey forward in macro photography.

No matter what equipment is used, learning how depth of field works is much different than with other types of photography. Macro work is designed for being in very close and the equipment is different that everything else, thus changing how much depth there is in a shot. Subject position to the camera is also an important aspect with this subject that will be covered.

2. Focusing / Exposure
Autofocus or manual focus? This is one of the first questions to ask when doing close-up work. Both have advantages and these will be discussed. Regarding exposure, what settings are best for subjects with a lot of contrast will be discussed as well as what to do to bring out the colors and details in your subject.

3. Composition
Do you show the whole subject, just part of it, or include background elements in the shot? What to put in the frame and where to put it are keys to creating an image with impact that the viewer will be drawn to. Good composition in macro photography is no different than from any other subject. General guidelines as well as helping define the subject will be key elements of this lesson.

4. Patterns, textures, contrasts
Not all subjects are going to be straight forward such as a flower or bug. Looking for different subjects where patterns, textures and other items will be the main emphasis of this class. More and different techniques will also be included to help with the progression of macro photography.

5. Natural Light / Flash
Diffused, direct, backlighting, fill-flash. All of these options are great and all have their own qualities as well as their own difficulties. In this lesson we will explore each aspect of lighting so you can decide which will be the best option on your next shoot.

6. Extreme Close-Ups and Other Special Techniques
Going beyond a 1 to 1 size ratio of a subject can be quite rewarding as minute details not seen with the eye are brought out. Doing this also exposes different problems such as loss of depth of field and more subject movement. How to do extreme macro will be included as well as ways to minimize the difficulties brought out.

In the special techniques section topics such as using various items for creating abstracts will be covered as well as hyperfocal distance where you get maximum depth of field for a subject just inches in front of you in focus as well as something at infinity.

Lesson Assignments
Assignments will include submitting images for critique for based on the subjects covered to show that an understanding of the techniques discussed have been grasped.