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It's a small world, and capturing it with a photograph can be challenging. In this course, photographer, author, and teacher Ben Long takes you on a fantastic voyage into the realm of the tiny, detailing the gear and shooting techniques necessary to capture extreme close-ups of everything from products to posies.
After touring the possibilities of macro photography, the course details essential gear at several price levels, including lenses, flashes, and other accessories. Next, Ben explores the special challenges of macro photography: dealing with moving subjects, working with extremely shallow depth of field, focusing, lighting, and more.
The course also explores advanced close-up tools and post-processing techniques, such as using Adobe Photoshop to "stack" multiple shots to yield wider depth of field than a single shot can convey.
As you start framing up your close-up shots, you might find that you can create the same composition using several different focal lengths and camera positions. Standing close and zooming out might let you frame the same shot that you would get standing farther away and zooming in. If you have a collection of primes, instead of a zoom lens, you might still have these same options. Sometimes, it won't matter which option you choose, but you should still understand the trade-offs of using one option over another.
Possibly most important is the compositional change that you will see if there is a background visible in your image. As you change camera position, the sense of distance between the foreground and background will change. If you're shooting an object with depth, you might also see a change in the proportions of your subject as you change camera position and focal length. If you are not familiar with this phenomenon, then check out my Foundations of Photography Lenses course for more information. If your image doesn't include a separate background, or you are shooting something very shallow, then you won't have to worry about this, and your focal length camera position choice may not matter; either one will do fine.
On a zoom lens, different focal lengths may not all allow the same maximum aperture. For example, you might be able to open all the way to 3.5 at the wide end of your zoom, but only 5.6 at the telephoto end. If you have very particular exposure ideas, then you may have to adjust your camera position and focal length to be able to achieve the aperture that you want. Again, my lenses course will walk you through this issue in more detail. Now, these questions won't always be an issue. There will be times when only a single focal length can allow you to frame the shot the way that you want.
Perhaps the object is so far away that you have to a long focal length, or maybe you want to include the object and a lot of background, which will require a short focal length. For times when you have options though, pay attention to composition and aperture changes as you choose where to stand and how to zoom.
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