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Creative Close-Ups: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques 1st Edition

62 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470527122
ISBN-10: 0470527129
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Editorial Reviews Review

Product Description

The art of macro photography-photographing small objects or super close-ups of small sections of big objects-yields fascinating results, but shooting at this level brings its own set of challenges. Now you can shoot close-ups with confidence and creative flair with this information-packed guide.

Renowned photographer Harold Davis provides pages of field-tested techniques on focus, depth-of-field, exposure-even the appropriate equipment to use for this unique niche of digital photography. The book includes stunning and intriguing examples of his work to illustrate concepts.

  • Walks you through the basics of macro photography, whether you're capturing an insect, a flower, a close-up of the texture of a pine cone, or more
  • Shows you how to overcome the challenges of this type of photography, such as using the appropriate equipment and how to handle focus, depth of field, and exposure
  • Takes you beyond the fundamentals to help you develop your own creative style
  • Informs and inspires you with the author's own stunning examples of macro photography

Join the vast and beautiful world of small photography with this essential guide.

Amazon Exclusive: Photography Tips and Techniques from Harold Davis

How to Use Shadows to Enhance Your Composition

How to Use LAB Color for Black and White Effects

Professional Photography Techniques from Harold Davis

Amazon Exclusive: Interview with Award-Winning Photographer Harold Davis

We hear you’ve written some new digital photography titles. What’s the story behind these books?
Wiley Publishing is releasing three new books of mine, Creative Close-Ups: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques , Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques , and Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques . My idea with these books was to help people become better photographers by presenting the subject of digital photography in a different way.

What’s different about your approach?
They say that cameras don’t take photos, people do. It’s really true. Someone with a great eye can take masterful photos with an inexpensive camera. Therefore, it is important to know something about photo technique, but the really amazing thing is that we can conceptualize and come up with these bits and bytes that make up a photo—and they can be meaningful to people. I try to help people come up with images that are relevant and meaningful. Cameras and hardware are just tools.

What’s with all the photos in these books?
Well, everyone likes to look at striking images, so one thing my photos do in these books is get people’s attention. However, the photos play another role as well. Each photo in my book is accompanied by the story of how the photo was made and the technical data related to the photo. That way, if you’re not ready to dive into the text itself, you can learn a lot just by browsing the photos.

My feeling is that you truly do learn about photography by looking at photos. It’s much more important to look at images you admire and try and figure out why you like them than it is to read about photography. The photos in these books are baked into the DNA of the teaching strategy. By browsing through the pages, someone can learn a great deal and have an enjoyable visual experience at the same time.

What’s the most important thing that readers can get out of your new books?
I want to inspire readers to be the most creative and best photographers they can be. If you pick up one of my books, I hope you can make use of the technical content and see how the photos relate to some of your own work. The most important thing, however, is to take the ideas in the book, get out there, and do some really peddle-to-the-metal creative photography.


"Harold Davis's Creative Photography series is a great way to start a photography library"---PhotoFidelity

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470527129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470527122
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For Harold Davis, a typical day's (or night's) work might involve photographing star trails from the top of Half Dome, investigating the close-up patterns of early morning dew drops with his camera, or finding a new location for photographing the Golden Gate Bridge.

Harold Davis is an award-winning professional photographer. He is the author of more than 30 books, including Photographing Flowers: Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis (Focal Press), Creative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley),Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Night: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), Creative Close-Ups: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley), The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing (Focal Press) and Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers (O'Reilly). Harold writes the popular Photoblog 2.0,

Harold is a popular presenter on digital photography topics. His workshops are often sold out.

Harold is well known for his night photography and experimental ultra-long exposure techniques, use of vibrant, saturated colors in landscape compositions, and beautiful creative floral imagery. He is inspired by the flowers in his garden, hiking in the wilderness, and the work of great artists and photographers including M.C. Escher, Monet, van Gogh and Edward Weston.

Harold lives in Berkeley, California with his wife Phyllis Davis, a graphic designer and writer who frequently collaborates with Harold on book projects. They have four children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jancoaz on December 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have every macro photography book marketed in the last three years, and this is by far the best, in my opinion. Harold Davis has pushed the boundaries of macro photography with new techniques such as HDR, Focus Stacking, photographing transparency, an entire section of photographing water drops, still-life photography, and oh so much more. If you combine this masterful book with more detailed instruction from the companion book, The Photoshop Darkroom, Creative Digital Post Processing, you will learn amazing techniques for using LAB color to create fabulous effects, hand HDR processing techniques, and many more.

As a macro photographer, I could bury myself in the techniques and ideas presented in this book and it's companion, The Photoshop Darkroom, and not run out of new techniques to try for years! This book has stunning photographs and is very well organized. I especially appreciate references to exact page numbers to refresh my memory on techniques used earlier.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Dave Nelson on November 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
When asked if I would like to read and review a copy of Creative Close-Ups I jumped at the chance. A couple of weeks later the book arrived and I dove right in.

Creative Close-Ups is not a highly technical book, it is a well-written and thought provoking exploration of close-up photography. It covers many types of close-up photography including flowers, water drops, still life and glass.

Filled with wonderful photos that highlight the type of photography being discussed along with commentary on the choices made while preparing and taking the photographs. Details on lens choice, f-stop, shutter speeds, and more are given for every photo.

This is the first close-up photography book I have seen that covers High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography for photographs of flowers and other subjects. It also includes information on how to create High Focal Range (HFR) photographs to expand the depth of field in close-up photographs.

I appreciate the descriptions of lighting challenges and solutions offered in the book that do not require a lot of expensive equipment that the enthusiast photography may not own or wish to buy.

If you are a photographer looking to improve your close-up skills I highly recommend Creative Close-Ups, Digital Photography Tips & Techniques
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jeff R. Clow on December 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Full Disclosure: I have been a macro (closeup) photographer for several years and I was sure I had read all the important books on the subject.

Full Disclosure #2: I was wrong .... since until this weekend I had not read this book, and thus my macro library was incomplete.

The author, Harold Davis, has put out a veritable instruction manual for the closeup photographer that is as good as anything I've ever read on the subject. His chapters on Focus Stacking and the use of the HDR (high dynamic range) multiple exposure approach are incredibly helpful with step by step guides (and screenshots) that make using these techniques really easy. Although I had read about "focus stacking", I had never felt comfortable at using this approach because I thought it would be laborious and too time consuming. After reading the chapter on how to do it, I was able to go out in my garden and immediately get good results. Heck, that advice alone is worth the cover price.

I also found the chapters on Selective Focus and Reflections and Refractions to be very helpful. I had long wanted to get that classic shot of a reflection inside a dew drop on the surface of a leaf, but I could never pull it off very well. With the text and accompanying photos in this book, I found myself able to correct my previous errors and nail the shot I've always wanted.

Mr. Davis writes in an easy to understand style that is both informative and casual. You don't have to be a pro to understand what he is writing about and his advice resonates like that of a trusted friend who has taken you under his wing to show you all his favorite tips and techniques.

If you're the least bit interested in improving your closeup photo work, or if you'd like to venture out into this fascinating field of the world in miniature as seen through a photo lens then I would HIGHLY recommend this book.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Michael Adams on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
After reading Bryan Peterson's Understanding Close-Up Photography I found this book at my local bookstore. Thumbing through it I saw that there were macro techniques explained for Photoshop and quickly decided to purchase the book. Well, there are two techniques that are quite well explained, but other than that I can honestly say that I found nothing else useful through the whole thing. Most of the book seems to be the author telling you what he likes to shoot (flowers on black background, flowers on white background, still life, etc.) in a short paragraph, then a few example shots with a brief synopsis of what you're looking at and what the author "feels" about the shot. He mentions a handful of items that are useful for shooting close-ups or macros, but never goes into any detail about their application. Much more disappointing than that, everything that he describes that would be new and exciting (i.e. digital painting) is left completely unexplained and the reader is given a reference to another book, of course written by this same author. I strongly recommend that you purchase Peterson's book and leave this one on the shelf. The only reason I'm giving it two stars is because I did learn a new technique in Photoshop (focus-stacking). Now, I think I'll find someone or somewhere to donate this book.
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