Craft and Vision has just released a new eBook — as usual it costs $5, and as usual it’s a good one. The latest title is Up Close by Andrew S. Gibson, and is all about Macro and Close-up Photography — so not a lot of philosophizing in this title, but plenty of practical information for those who shoot things up close (or who are interested in giving it a try).
So what, you may ask, will your $5 get you? Up Close is 90 pages long, and is divided in four parts. Part one (the largest of them) is all about equipment — dedicated macro lenses, close-up lenses (a.k.a. close-up adapters or diopters), reversing rings, extension tubes, and the like. Each gets an exhaustive discussion of its uses, benefits, limitations, and things to consider before you buy. This section of Up Close also includes a nice set of example images made with each of the equipment types, so you can see for yourself what each is capable of producing.
The second part of Up Close is about macro and close-up photographic technique. Focusing, use of depth of field, dealing with camera shake — all get their due in this comparatively slim part of the eBook.
Part three is about lighting for macro and close-up photography. Gibson definitely prefers natural light, but still gives a fairly complete (and commendably brand-agnostic) treatment of lighting options for your work with your camera.
The final section of the book contains case studies of work done by Mandy Disher (macro) and Celine Steen (food close-ups), along with photography tips from both of them.
All in all, Up Close is a very solid work if you’re even just toying with the idea of getting into macro or close-up photography. Gibson includes (really, emphasizes) approaches that don’t involve buying super-expensive macro-specific gear. And for $5, you don’t have much to lose.