with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Category Archives: Closeup Photography

Closeup or macro photography is the art of photographing a subject close up. For some that may mean photographing a subject at the maximum magnification of the photographic equipment they have. For others, in means getting more involved in the process through the use of extreme closeup techniques with extension tubes, teleconverters, magnifying lenses, inverting lenses, and even using microscopic equipment.

The following articles are from our book and closeup and macro photography workshop, “I Long To Be Close To You: Closeup Photography”.

This series of articles explores techniques for closeup nature photography, exploring the small things nature has to provide. Aimed at the beginner to intermediate level photographer, we’ll help you understand how different lenses magnify, depth of field, selective focus, and various lighting techniques for closeup or macro photography.

The Art of a Moth

Brent has a beautiful eye for capturing the essence of a photograph. This moth is perfectly framed on the pine needled covered ground at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. Moths are amazing. There are over 160,000 species of months, nearly ten times the number of butterflies, so sayeth Wikipedia. We love photographing moths. […]

The Spider That Thinks He’s a Flower

Many years ago, Brent VanFossen was hiking around the Olympic National Park in our favorite area of Hurricane Ridge during the beautiful alpine wild flower season. He spotted this plumb yellow crab spider poised perfectly in the middle of lupine leaves like the yellow center of a flower. It’s arms were outstretched, waiting for dinner […]

Water Droplets on Sheet Web

Just as there are many types of spiders, there are many types of webs. A favorite of ours is the sheet web. Lying flat across plants and grasses, Brent and I are impressed by these diligent web makers as they work on the horizontal rather than vertical. Our front “yard” filled with knick-knick, Oregon Grape, […]

Flash Isolates Natural Subject

This dried thistle head in the Painted Hills of Oregon caught my attention with its textures and lines. I’ve always loved thistles, alive and vital with their fluffy tops, and dried out cone-like structures of mystery and pattern. To isolate this thistle, I used flash to force the background to go to black. The flash […]

Photographing the Moon Eclipse 2008

It was freezing cold outside. And dark. Not the kind of dark that just comes with night but the dark that happens when the earth passes between the sun and the moon. It was February 20, 2008, and I was in our new temporary home in Gaston, Oregon, an hour west of Portland, in time […]

Cherry Tree Blossoms, Seattle Arboretum

The Seattle Arboretum is a glorious place to wander year around, but in the spring, the rows and rows of flowering trees are wonders to behold. I often led many nature photography tours in and around Seattle’s most famous park, a long green belt that starts near the University of Washington and Museum of History […]

Yellow and Purple Tulip Closeup, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

I love the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and have many years of photographs from its bountiful rainbow of tulips. This one is from the 2007 festival, a very gray sky and wet few weeks. We always bring our full camera gear, different tripods, lenses, everything we can to get the landscape views as well as […]

Photographing Water Droplets

Risk. Danger. Anticipation. And nerves of steel. These are the thrills and spills of photographing water droplets. There is a constant threat of danger as they dangle, so close to the edge, hanging on until the last second…then splat. Gone. We love photographing water droplets. They are lenses within your lens, offering a new perspective […]

Contest Winners Announced for Photographs Through a Microscope

Brent and I love closeup or macro photography, but we’ve not taken the time to really get close. You have a chance to see the award winning photographs of those who did take the time to get even closer – photographing nature through a microscope in the annual Nikon Small World Photography through the Microscope […]

Closeup Photography – Working with Subjects

The challenges facing a photographer working on closeups are numerous. Most specifically they include light, moving subjects, difficult positions and angles, camera shake, depth of field issues, and working distances. Lighting As a macro subject is typically close to the ground and often in forests or generally low light situations, the photographer has to deal […]

Creative Closeups

The magic of the closeup world is not just the technical expertise it takes to create dramatic macro photography, but also the artistry used to capture the magic. Depth Of Field Creativity Depth of field is the amount the image is in focus from back to front. It is controlled by the aperture of the […]

Gallery of Closeup Images

With the tree blossoms as an out-of-focus background, they seem to echo the three blossoms in focus in the upper corner. Focusing on the tree blossoms and using the green field beyond as a neutral, relaxing background, this photograph puts all the interest on the blossoms. Using the out-of-focus flowers in the foreground, the distractions […]

Closeup Photography Technical Notes

The following is technical information you may need to know to expand your knowledge of closeup and macro photography. While this information isn’t critical to the success of your closeup nature photography images, it helps to know as much as possible about the techniques and mathematics that go into the why and the where for […]

Closeups in Nature Photography Introduction

Closeup nature photography, or macro photography, presents the photographer with a wide range of challenges, from how to get close to how to capture a reluctant subject. For serious closeup photographers, the process involves not only an understanding of the technical and mathematical concepts but a deeper understanding of the natural science behind their subjects. […]

Exposure Elements and Closeup Equipment

Understanding all the technical aspects of closeup photograph does mean going back to basic photography skills such as exposure and depth of field. While the extensive topics involved in both of these are beyond the scope of this book, here is a quick review and information on how these relate to closeup photography. Shutter Speed […]