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Over the New Year break I took some time out to read a number of Digital Photography Books. One of which is Closeup Shooting: A Guide to Closeup, Tabletop and Macro Photography by Cyrill Harnischmacher.
This book came recommended to me by a number of DPS readers who were into Macro Photography so as my 100mm Macro lens was a little unused in 2007 I thought I’d brush up on my skills and seek a little inspiration. I wasn’t disappointed.
Closeup Shooting is a great book if you’re just getting into the world of Macro or have given it a go and want to take things a step further. It would be helpful to have some knowledge/experience of photography though as there is a certain level of technical language that is assumed (not too much).
This 122 page book with 28 sections covers a lot of ground – from Macro equipment, framing shots to lighting. It’s not a long book (there are many other Macro books that probably get more detailed, technical and comprehensive) but as an introductory overview this book is great resource.
I particularly enjoyed Cyrill’s discussion of lighting for this type of photography and expect that the main improvements in my own Macro and closeup photography will come from what I learned in the section covering these topics (in the Imaging Techniques section).
The book has some wonderful examples of Macro Photography which illustrate the techniques being examined and also has helpful diagrams and tables that help those who learn visually. Seeing the set up of images (diagrams) and then seeing the final image is a very helpful thing that Cyrill includes towards the end of the book (I wish there was even more of this as I find it helpful).
This isn’t a book for those wanting to explore all aspects of photography – but if you’re looking to hone your skills in the fascinating world of Macro (whether shooting insects in your pack yard, photographing product for ebay or simply ‘playing’ around with shots around the house then this one’s worth the investment.
The only way I’d improve this book is to make it longer with even more practical examples and explanations. There is a good amount of this already – but as someone who learns by ‘seeing’ I’m always left thirsting for more of this.