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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 November 2008
Written by a professional photographer and lecturer and instructor, and someone who is also clearly knowledgeable about plants, Macro Photography is a very informative publication. The term "macro" in this instance is taken at is loosest to encompass close-up photography as well as true macro. The book is divided into seven main sections which include an introduction to macro photography, the equipment needed, how to look at images, a section entitled `Realistic or Artistic?' and sections on photographing flora and fauna, digital files and handling. There is also a list of resources, a glossary and an index.

The book sets out to reach both the experienced photographer and the novice, and here I feel it succeeds. The writer, having moved from traditional film photography to digital does well in explaining the differences and how this should affect ones approach. I found this particularly useful having myself been schooled, and schooled others, in the days of film photography. The technical aspects of macro photography are covered quite extensively and very clearly, and all are well illustrated by the superb pictures which accompany the text; a useful point here is that in addition to the coverage in the text each photograph is accompanied by its own explanation along with details of camera, lens and settings used.

Of course when it comes to the more subjective area of "artistic" photography there is the possibility of disagreement. Yet the advice given here is sound, although there was the occasional point I would not always agree with; but that is only to be expected when one moves into such areas, and of course each is able to make his own decision, again the excellent pictures here can help one to decide. For example, where a blossom is too large to be in focus from front to back, Detrick suggests ensuring that the perimeter or outer edge is in sharp focus; the centre or closest part of the flower then being out of focus (pp74-75, Allium blossom). The theory being that the viewer notices the perimeter first and so decides that the picture is in focus. However the accompanying pictures used to illustrate the point I feel suggest the reverse; I find the blurred centre of the bloom worrying. I do not doubt that Detrick's theory works in principle, but maybe it just goes to show that there is no definite solution to every situation. Whatever one decides, the benefit of this book is that pictures tell the story, whichever way one wants to read it.

Even as an experienced photographer I found this a most useful book; every aspect is adequately covered from advice on the equipment, how to use and get the best out of it, and how to compose, light and shoot the pictures. The possibilities of what can be done with photo editing software are also mentioned, but not discussed in detail. I am sure that whatever the level of knowledge the reader, one is bound to find this a very useful publication. Well illustrated with over 160 good size colour photographs.
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I have only recently upgraded from SLR to DSLR and as a result have re-kindled my enthusiasm for photography. I am new to macro photography and have found this book to be a really good introduction. It provides enough background information in a clear, helpful way that doesn't terrify the inexperienced with complicated jargon. There is useful information about equipment and whilst the author rightly recommends a dedicated macro lens as the best approach, he doesn't dismiss extension tubes, etc..

There are plenty of photos which are accompanied by details of the lens, any extender, exposure, lighting, etc with a description of what the author was trying to achieve and the thought process behind the photo. I found some useful tips from this. There are comparison photos showing the impact of e.g. changing aperture, for example which illustrate the point more effectively than words ever could.

Highly recommended if you are new to this area of photography.
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on 26 June 2017
Good read
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on 21 June 2009
Alan L. Detrick is clearly a very experienced and educated photographer with a very broad knowledge about the topic. In this book I think he deliberately choose a relatively simplistic approach. The book gives a general introduction to photographic therms like exposure, depth of field, lense choise, composition and digital workflow. The style is very informative and takes the reader in the hand trough the topics.
The pictures in the book are good and very illustrative. My opinion is that the pictures are chosen more to illustrate the point in the text than to show of the photographers skill, and this is the right priority in a book like this. This beeing said, the photographs are a very high quality. A reader without much experience is not intimidated by the quality, and in my opinion this show a high degree of professionalism from the auther. For those interested he is a Canon shooter, but he has a very open attitute on equipment.
So who is the target for the book? The experienced photographer that know more than the fundamental basics will not find much new here. While the auther covers a lot of ground, there is not much depth to find if you already have some knowledge. Examples are the sections describing flash photography or the use of diffusers. Here only the most basic consepts are covered. For this reader I would recommend to look at Sue Bishop "Photographing flowers" and Tony Sween in general if you are into the more artistic style, or "Close-Up and Macro: A Photographer's Guide" by Robert Thompson if you are interested in a very competent book on the technical aspects and "how to's".
If you are just starting to take your camera into your garden and would like to step into the wonderful world of flower photography then this is a very good choise.
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on 1 July 2009
This is an excellent book on flower and plant Macro photography. Its very well written, and easy to follow. Thats not to say it isn't for advanced photographers aswell. I feel that even experienced photographers will learn some great tips and insight from this book, and that its one of those books that you'll pick up again and again, and instantly get some inspiration to get out in the garden and shoot some macro.

What I like about the book, is the author shares his insight into the shots; what he done in terms of set-up/settings and also why he used that particular approach in terms of framing or lighting the shot and what you can achieve by using such a technique.

You instantly appreciate that he is an expert in his field, and I feel that anyone who reads this book will learn a some great tips and feel inspired whatever their level of photography.
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on 7 September 2013
Do that and you shouldn't be disappointed, particularly at the current price (around £12). My point is that this is a paperback guide, aimed at the introductory level as much towards naturalists as aspiring macro photographers. If you want a high resolution, glossy photo album for the coffee table, I suggest you look elsewhere.
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on 21 July 2009
This book is amazing value, and full of excellent detailed information. Everything you need to know about recommended equipment to buy, down to trying to take that super shot. His photographs show lots of comparisons of how to make the image look better. As a beginner to macro photography I find this book excellent reading, and so easy to understand. Definitely the Essential Guide.
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on 20 June 2013
I was very pleased with this book as it answered a lot of my questions about using my camera up close I now understand what some of the photographic books are talking about.
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on 5 February 2014
Good all round reference book with some inspiring photographs.
Would recommend to those photographers who are interested in macro photography.
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on 25 August 2015
A very well written and informative book for all levels, giving in depth information on every aspect of macro photography for the gardener and nature lover.
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