by Paul Harcourt Davies

Many of your macro subjects will be found close to home like this bumblebee on a Passiflora

Many of your macro subjects will be found close to home like this bumblebee on a Passiflora

Jumping in at the deep end

Perhaps you’ve been  producing some nice pictures and honing your photographic skills for a while. Now you find yourself ready to expand into new photographic realms…you’ve seen dramatic close-up shots and want to take your own.

There is no time like the present for a new challenge and with the launch of our new blog Learn Macro, Clay and I will regularly post in a series that will take you through the basics and way beyond. Every now and again, in a world where digital photography changes so rapidly, we all need to reassess what we are doing and we will cover the material as completely and accessibly as we can. We have to battle at things too and are alway learning and experimenting: in this area of photography you never stop and that is one of its big attractions.

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If you thought you had to travel to exotic locales to photograph captivating subjects, think again. Award-winning nature and conversation photographer Clay Bolt shows you how to find, approach and photograph fascinating insects in your own backyard with spectacular results in this new online course from Craftsy. Learn to work with available light and shallow depth of field to create crystal-clear images. Explore a variety of off-camera flash setups to enhance color and texture, increase sharpness and freeze motion. Use wide-angle macro lenses to create surreal images that showcase your subject and its habitat, and get Clay’s expert tips for successfully photographing insects in flight. Finally, learn to adjust images in the digital darkroom to illuminate the beauty of translucent wings and emphasize eye-catching textures. Along the way, Clay will be available to answer your questions through the Craftsy platform.

Click here to sign up for the course. Currently, the class is being offered for $49.99 (a $10.00 discount from its regular price of $59.00)

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the tiny spider on this snowdrop has its translucency emphasised by a flash gun placed behind the flower to add to the frontal illumination (also flash)

the tiny spider on this snowdrop has its translucency emphasised by a flash gun placed behind the flower to add to the frontal illumination (also flash)

By  Paul Harcourt Davies 

Backlighting: – Adding a Bit of Magic:

A single gun behind and to the side of a subject creates a rim light that accentuates hairs on flower stems or on insects – it is a little bit of magic that raises the game and your pictures go to a different level. 

With radio controlled systems it is easy – a manual gun with a photoelectric trigger works, too, since the lighting is not critical but avoid placing it too close to the subject if it does not have a power-ratio control that lets you control its output. A flash gun used behind a subject (and just out of view) can enhance the translucency of the subject.

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