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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This guy makes it so simple and a lot of fun to understand !!Published 1 month ago by Jose Olivares Ruckholdt
For this amateur most interested in macro and closeup photography in general, this offered so much to consider on the subject. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Vicky H. Rimstidt
Bryan Peterson does a great job off explaining sometimes hard to understand concepts. Great ideas for the reader to try with his own camera.Published 5 months ago by Linda Pischke
Product Was As Described, Price Is Good, Would Recommend To Buy.Published 6 months ago by Popeye The Sailor