Close-up Photography Workshop at Natural Bridge State Park

flyer for close up photography workshop [beetle peeking through hole in leaf]

On October 1, 2013, I am set to run another close-up photography workshop at Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams, Massachusetts (MA). I have held this program the previous two years (and one of these year I will do it notin the autumn). Last year we were washed out; the rain date didn’t go as well as I had hoped, so this year it’s a one shot deal. Be nice to us, Mom Natty.

As before, this program is for beginners. If you are more advanced in your macro journey, it would probably bore you, although you’re welcome to come along and shoot the park, so to speak. My plan is to talk less and have you shoot more; I am currently brainstorming some certain types of shots and illustrative tests to open the macro door for you. I’ll discuss a few examples and general, related information below.

Many people become interested in close-up and macro photography when their primary camera is a point and shoot camera — as I myself did. DSLR cameras are becoming more prevalent it seems to me, but smartphone cameras have certainly become the primary camera for many people. There are always exceptions, but most of these cameras are equipped to take a close-up photo of one kind or another. If you don’t have a macro lens or the ability to add one, a macro function is the most important feature – usually denoted by a flower icon – for accomplishing the closer, higher magnifcation shots (the ones I found most intriguing, generally). Here are a couple, older shots taken with my much loved Canon Powershot A620 (point and shoot) :

While these are not super close up, they provide a wider angle for relatively larger subjects. We will take a look at the so-called “wide-angle” shot, which includes the subject’s larger environment in the background and the attendant context which such an attribute provides. You can sometimes get a human in the shot to compare to a bug as in my shot above which is a pretty cool juxtaposition (if I may say so).

Of course, depth of field is always front and foremost in macro. We’ll take a look at “flat shots” (my term), where a subject is a flat surface, and the depth of field becomes obvious at an oblique angle, as only a thin line will come into focus. The below shot is part of a butterfly wing; the scales are a bit small, but if you click on it for a larger image, you can probably see some of the detail that I garnered by taking at a (relatively) parallel angle.

close up of sulphur butterfly wing

We’ll also try to utilize our flashes as in the photo of the acorn below. The concept of light diffusion will be the main topic of discussion there.

acorn, bottom pointing up

Any camera has its own strengths and capabilities; some will have more than others, but hopefully we can get our feet wet. We probably won’t shoot a lot of bugs (I know, how disappointing) because of the lateness of the season, but the beauty of fall offers many subjects. I am expecting a small group due to the odd time, so I am not requiring any registration or such, but if you’d like to get a little more info or prep yourself a little beforehand, please go to the contact page and give me an email shout. One good way to prep is to read your owner’s manual (simple advice but profoundly true!). I will sticky this post and add any updates at the top. See you in the park.

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5 thoughts on “Close-up Photography Workshop at Natural Bridge State Park

    1. Thanks, Victor. It’s fun to see people interested in learning the craft. I hope you get to do one yourself; photographers new and old would benefit. I know I’ve learned a lot reading your blog. Kind of kicking myself though for doing it so late bugs are more fun. :)

    1. We’ll see if I can talk and hold up a flash diffuser at the same first, haha.

      Maybe I can hold one of these Australia. :)

      ( I keep telling my relatives there I’m coming to visit some day. They probably don’t believe me at this point, but I really mean to go.)

      On Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 6:20 AM, BugPhoto.net

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