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Understanding Close-Up Photography: Creative Close Encounters with Or Without a Macro Lens Paperback – March 31, 2009

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Understanding Close-Up Photography: Creative Close Encounters with Or Without a Macro Lens + Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera + Understanding Shutter Speed: Creative Action and Low-Light Photography Beyond 1/125 Second
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817427198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817427191
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BRYAN PETERSON is a professional photographer, an internationally known instructor, and the best-selling author of Understanding Exposure, Understanding Shutter Speed, Learning to See Creatively, Understanding Digital Photography, and Beyond Portraiture. In addition, he is the founder of the online photography school The Perfect Picture School of Photography (www.ppsop.com). He lives in Chicago.

Customer Reviews

I love Bryan Peterson books, easy to read and practice, love ya Bryan!
I found his book, "Understanding Close-up Photography" one of the best I've read and will be using it as a reference for many years to come.
B. McCall
When investigating close-up and/or macro photography this is a very informative book.
Adolphus B. Hayes Jr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 92 people found the following review helpful By javajunki TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peterson's books on Shutterspeed and Aperature are among the best I've ever encountered so when I saw this book in the soon to be released section I ordered it immediately. After waiting three months, it finally arrived and although I would not put it into the same category as the Aperture and Shutterspeed books, it is certainly a worthy addition.

First, I'm not a pro but enjoy close-up and macro probably more than any other type of photography. This book strikes a solid balance between buying advice and explanations sufficient for newbies wanted to get started in close-up or macro and a few creative ideas or style for others with more experience.

The emphasis is certainly on close-up above macro but with sufficient appeal to keep both happy. Ample explanations, nice use of comparative photo's and Petersons exceptional style of casual communication that provides insight into the shot itself.

Also, he includes wide angle, fish-eye and other less common lens types outside of just the macro itself...for that he gets an extra star as it is a topic rarely included in most close-up discussions. Not every photo is of stellar quality - although there are some beautiful examples.

Briefly, topics include equipment, depth of field and aperature, general tips, home studio, framing, magnification ratios, depth of field preview, and other essential information.

To sum it up...a worthy addition but not of the same quality or caliber as exposure and shutterspeed. Newbies will benefit the most while more experienced users may pick up a few worthy ideas.
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By LKP on April 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
The newest book from Bryan Peterson, released in March 2009, it cannot help but come in direct comparison with John Shaw's primer on macro photography.

However, this is a book on CLOSE-UP photography and that should be kept in mind when reading it. While macro is covered as much as close-up photography, both are given strong emphasis and many techniques can be applied to either situation.

This book goes into good detail about nearly every aspect of close-up and macro photography you might want to know a bit about: equipment, lenses, filters, diffusers, reversing rings, good point and shoot cameras, tripods, reflectors, ring flash, etc. However this will be a 'bit' about each one. On some, such as lighting topics, there are entire books out there written just on those subjects.

Depth of Field is covered very nicely and in more detail than Shaw's book, tying it in with composition, lighting and artistic decisions.

Overall, this is an excellent book and very up to date, printed March 31 2009. The cameras, lenses and other items mentioned are ones we are all using today or might buy. Artistically, the ideas are presented in a way that make you want to pick up your camera and go see what you can find. Readability wise, Peterson is an excellent writer and teacher which make this book very accessible to photographers at any level.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Mitch G. on April 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many people buying books on macro photography, I'm a somewhat experienced amateur who recently bought a dedicated macro lens and feeling underwhelmed with the initial results. After looking for decent free content on the Web, and not finding much, I started looking at books and settled on this one after reading all the good reviews.

I'm sure the author is a fine photographer. That's easy to see from looking at the photographs but I have to say this is arguably a better coffee table book than it is an instructional on how to take better macro photos.

Like so many photography books, there just isn't enough information on how the photos were taken to allow the reader to go out and try to do the same...One mistake (and I don't know why editors let this go) is listing incomplete information the body, lens, and settings used for each of the photos. In some, he gives you the focal length used but since he doesn't specify whether he's using a full-frame vs. cropped sensor body you don't know specifics, and they can in some cases be important.

There are two chapters about the "Canon 500D" but they're so hard to follow I ended up looking online to see what he was talking about. He starts by calling it a "lens" and later a "filter"...Starting out explaining what it is and then showing a picture of it in use would be a much better way to start off. I'm still not sure whether he's recommending using it on a macro lens or just other lenses.

There is a lot of great information in the book, I just would have edited it completely differently. Show some great "classic" macro pictures, show the set up you used (ie a photo of the camera, tripod, lighting, etc.), give the exact settings, explain options, and move on to the next one. Flowers, feathers, surfaces, all kinds of interesting stuff is mentioned and his pro results shown, but having finished the book I haven't really added much at all to my knowledge of how to make my photos pop.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Stahl on May 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have taught photography for the past 20 years and for much of this time I have been relying on Brian Peterson's ideas to help make many photo concepts more interesting going back to his original "Learning to See Creatively".
I found this book to be particularly worthwhile because it isn't limited to extreme close ups and, thank heavens, isn't filled with insect photographs. Rather, Brian suggests a number of approaches to the subject and shows wonderful examples.
If you are interested in close up photography, this is a Very Good Read!
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More About the Author

Bryan Peterson is a professional photographer, internationally known instructor, and founder of www.PPSOP.com, The Perfect PIcture School of Photography. He is also the best-selling author of Understanding Exposure, Learning to See Creatively,Understanding Shutter Speed, Understanding Close-Up Photography, Understanding Digital Photography, Beyond Portraiture, and, most recently, Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography Field Guide. His easy-to-understand writing and teaching style breaks down the complex and often confusing aspects of photography, translating them into what his students routinely describe as "aha" moments. In addition, he has been a commercial photographer for over 30 years, shooting annual reports for many Fortune 500 companies, and his trademark use of color and strong, graphic composition have garnered him many photographic awards, including the New York Art Director's Gold Award and honors from Communication Arts and Print magazine. He currently splits his time between Chicago and France.