Learn to take great photos


Self Directed Tutorial
Close Up Photography - Materials Only
This tutorial includes the course materials only for our Close Up Photography course. This tutorial is for self-directed learning with no instructor, assignment or critique. For the instructor taught version of this course click here.

Discover a new world with close-up photography! Close-up photography reveals a world of photographic opportunity. There are limitless possibilities for exploration when you get up close and personal with close-ups. This is one of the best ways there is to jump start your creativity.

In this class we will be working with close-up and macro photography as your equipment permits. We will cover all the how-to camera settings, controls and techniques and also work on image design. With the setup of a small indoor studio you can enjoy close-up photography year round.

This tutorial includes two lessons and six how-to videos.


  • What is close-up photography?
  • What camera, lenses and accessories work for close-up photos
  • What is macro?
  • Camera settings
  • Shooting techniques
  • When to use manual focus
  • DOF preview button


  • Understanding depth of field for close-up photos
  • Dew drops & mist
  • Importance of background
  • Filling the frame
  • Designing your images
  • Composition tips
  • Setting up a small indoor studio

You will need some appropriate equipment to get the most from this tutorial.

  • Tripod
  • A digital SLR with any or all of the following:
    • A macro lens (Macro lenses have a 1:1 maximum magnification. Examples are for Nikon: Nikkor-Micro 60mm, 105mm 200mm and for Canon: Canon Macro 60mm, 100mm or 180mm.)
    • A wide angle lens with 28mm or wider focal length
    • Telephoto lens and extension tubes What's that?
    • Close-up filter (e.g. Canon 500D) What's that?
    • Reversing ring and prime lens (e.g. 50mm, 28mm or 24mm) What's that?
  • A point and shoot camera with close focusing ability. Check your camera's specs and make sure that the macro mode can get you within an inch or two.

If you would like to get started with close-up photography, we recommend starting with the Canon 500D Close-up Lens. It is affordable and gives excellent results. Read more about it.
Check it out at B&H.

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Learn To Take Photos is an online photography school run by professional photographers. Our online photo courses are fun and motivating.