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What is close up?

From: Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up

Video: What is close up?

We are going to split some rhetorical hairs here, because in this course, I am going to draw a line between macro and close-up shooting, even though when you are shooting macro, you are actually close-up. As you will see, a photo is only a truly a macro photo if it has very specific characteristics. Close-up photos have no technical constraints or specificities. We are simply going to talk about close-up photography as the process of getting in closer to a subject than you normally would. If you have watched any of my other courses, you know I am a big proponent of getting closer to any subject matter. Closer usually means simpler in terms of composition.

What is close up?

We are going to split some rhetorical hairs here, because in this course, I am going to draw a line between macro and close-up shooting, even though when you are shooting macro, you are actually close-up. As you will see, a photo is only a truly a macro photo if it has very specific characteristics. Close-up photos have no technical constraints or specificities. We are simply going to talk about close-up photography as the process of getting in closer to a subject than you normally would. If you have watched any of my other courses, you know I am a big proponent of getting closer to any subject matter. Closer usually means simpler in terms of composition.

As you get closer, you crop out extraneous details, and you focus the viewer's attention onto your subject. When I talk about close-up photography, I am referring to the process of getting close to small objects, or focusing on the details of large objects. This is the same thing you will do in macro shooting, but in close-up shooting, you are not going to get quite as close. Usually close-up photography means you are shooting something that's small, but still too big to warrant true macro shooting. Sometimes, you will employ close-up techniques, simply because of the small size of your subject, but at other times you might employ close-up techniques because your subject is too large.

Maybe you're a landscape shooter who can't figure out how to capture a big, broad vista in a way that really represents it well. Often the solution, in that situation, is to go for fine details, shoot close-ups of things that make up that broad vista. Close-up shooting can be a great thing to try when you are feeling stuck. Perhaps you had that feeling at home that you can't shoot around your house or in your neighborhood, because there is nothing to shoot there. Don't worry; all photographers get that. Our eyes go numb to the things that we see every day. But if you go out with the idea of shooting close-ups, finding interesting details, or tiny tableaus, little landscapes, you might find that there is a whole new realm of subject matter that you had previously missed.

For the most part, close-up shooting is no different than any other type of photography. It all starts with light, and you need to be constantly on the look out for good light in your small scenes. You need to have a firm understanding of exposure theory, you need to understand focal length and how it impacts your scene, and you need to know how to build a good composition. You can go deeper into all of these topics in the rest of my Foundations of Photography series. If you already feel comfortable with those things, then let's get started.

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Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up

47 video lessons · 14894 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  1. 3m 54s
    1. Welcome
      2m 17s
    2. What you need to know for this course
      1m 37s
  2. 20m 33s
    1. What is close up?
      2m 21s
    2. Understanding minimum focus distance
      3m 55s
    3. Comparing wide lens and telephoto
      1m 55s
    4. Understanding depth of field and focus
      2m 11s
    5. Working with extension tubes
      4m 30s
    6. Working with close-up lenses
      5m 41s
  3. 28m 7s
    1. What is a macro photo?
      4m 15s
    2. Understanding how to shoot macro with a reversed lens
      5m 37s
    3. Using a point-and-shoot camera for macro
      1m 55s
    4. Working with backdrops for macro
      3m 45s
    5. Practicing macro by shooting in the kitchen
      12m 35s
  4. 58m 38s
    1. Choosing a macro lens
      2m 4s
    2. Exploring macro lens features: Focal length
      3m 16s
    3. Understanding macro lens shutter speed
      7m 6s
    4. Shooting basics with a macro lens
      8m 24s
    5. Getting closer with macro lenses and extension tubes
      11m 13s
    6. Working with depth of field and macro
      5m 1s
    7. Understanding depth and composition in macro
      6m 43s
    8. Working with subject holders and support
      6m 36s
    9. Shooting with the Canon 65 mm
      8m 15s
  5. 13m 12s
    1. Working with macro stabilizing options
      5m 45s
    2. Working with sliders for macro
      2m 44s
    3. Working with a bellows
      1m 55s
    4. Working with viewfinders in macro
      2m 48s
  6. 52m 59s
    1. Working with direct light
      6m 13s
    2. Macro and the angle of light
      2m 24s
    3. Augmenting direct light with reflectors
      6m 42s
    4. Continuous lighting to add fill to a macro shot
      5m 55s
    5. Lighting your macro scene with continuous light
      4m 50s
    6. Lighting the macro scene with strobes
      4m 59s
    7. Setting up a macro-specific flash unit
      3m 21s
    8. Shooting with the Canon Macro Twin Lite
      7m 56s
    9. Shooting macro in a light tent
      3m 31s
    10. Shooting macro on a light table
      7m 8s
  7. 19m 44s
    1. Field shooting for macro, starting at home
      7m 5s
    2. Managing backgrounds in the field
      7m 39s
    3. Shooting macro water droplets
      5m 0s
  8. 56m 19s
    1. Creating a simple manual focus stack
      4m 40s
    2. Creating a focus stacked image with manual merge
      6m 17s
    3. Creating a focus stacked image using Helicon Remote
      11m 6s
    4. Working with a StackShot rail for focus stacking
      11m 46s
    5. Merging a focus stack with Photoshop
      11m 12s
    6. Merging photo stacks with Helicon
      6m 53s
    7. Understanding the aesthetics of depth of field
      4m 25s
  9. 1m 5s
    1. Next steps
      1m 5s

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