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Macro Photography: Insects and Plant Life

Lesson 1 of 15

Class Introduction

Chris McGinnis

Macro Photography: Insects and Plant Life

Chris McGinnis

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:01:39
2 Location Scouting Duration:02:59
3 What is Macro Photography Duration:02:09
5 Gear Duration:11:20
6 Preparing for Outdoor Macro Duration:02:00
7 Camera Settings Duration:06:48
10 Textures and Focus Stacking Duration:01:43
11 How to Get the Shot Duration:15:23
12 Using Macro Flash Set Duration:02:44
13 Post-Processing: Crane Fly Duration:10:04
14 Post-Processing: Bee Duration:14:57

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

I'm Chris McGinnis, and I'm a photographer and macro enthusiast, here to get you started with macro photography. We'll cover everything, from what macro photography is, why you would want to shoot it, how to find subjects, how to shoot them, what gear to use, all the way through post processing. By the end of this class, you'll be ready to start shooting all the small things that are all around you, whether they're in your backyard, or out in the wild. So, we're here at Twin Falls State Park, outside of Seattle, Washington, and we're scouting this location to, hopefully, find some great macro subjects. I'm out here looking for insects, spiders, any small critters, any pine cones, leaves, flowers, anything small that's interesting. When I'm out scouting a location, be it a park, or just my backyard, I look for varied vegetation, different flowers, maybe there's some indication that something's been eating something. And I stop in those locations. And that's what gets me to slow down. On...

a place like this, with this field of rocks, we have some plants growing through the rocks. We have large boulders, and the boulders provide great places for little flies, little spiders, ants, things like that, that kind of crawl around and go in the nooks and crannies. There's also a lot of dead trees here. And there's trees with moss on them. So, trees are ecosystems in themselves. Fallen trees or live trees with moss can be great for spiders, they can be great for flies that are just, kind of, taking a break. Look for moss that's wet. Anything that's a little different. So, as you're walking around, you can, kind of, stop anywhere, but if you see something that's different than the landscape around you, that's a great spot to stop and look.

Class Description


  • Understand Macro Photography and how to begin shooting it
  • Know what gear to bring and how to set up your camera
  • Find and approach your subjects, even the crawling/flying ones
  • Fast post-processing techniques to keep you on the move


Take a closer look in this beginner’s guide to macro photography and insect photography. Chris McGinnis, will dive into the world of macro photography from understanding what it is to how to shoot it. He’ll explain how to search and capture a smaller world with just the use of your camera. He’ll dive into the behaviors of insects and their relationships to plant life so that you can capture amazing images from your backyard to national parks.


  • Macro Photographers
  • Beginners
  • Hikers


Adobe Lightroom CC 2019




Chris McGinnis is a graphic designer, photographer, and macro photography enthusiast based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He obtained his degree in graphic design from Moravian College and, after a stint in the publishing world, joined the creative department at Olympus America. Chris currently works as the Senior Manager of Creative Services and oversees all phases of Olympus’ graphic design, photography, and video production. When he purchased an OM-D E-M10 in 2014, Chris vowed to shoot (and share) at least one photo each day for an entire year. After 365 days shooting, sharing, and learning, he found himself more and more interested in the details. He bought a macro lens and has never looked back. As Chris ventured deeper into the world of macro, he soon shifted his efforts toward featuring the beauty, design, and intricacy of arthropods which often go unnoticed.


Andrew Lamberson

I found the class both very informative and very motivational to get started in Macro photography. It is an entry-level class but it explains what you really need to know to be successful. I especially found the information on the value of using flash and how to modify your flash for it to be more effective especially helpful. I am an experienced wildlife photographer and have done some "Macro" with my telephoto lens, but this class motivated me to purchase a dedicated lens. I am really looking forward to spring and finding some good bugs!

Chris Baudec

Great presentation and great motivation in the post processing. I do wish that the would have been made available. After all, this is a Olympus sponsored event, and Oly settings are always welcomed.... and a tad difficult on the learning curve.

Gary Hook

Chris does a commendable job of explaining his techniques, reasons and potential pitfalls to avoid. Very thorough and much more enthusiastic about little bugs than I will ever be :-) but at the end one has a good concept on how to approach the task at hand. Nice closing with his practical examples of 'post' shoot production. One suggestion for inclusion would be some operating tips/techniques with a tripod/macro rail slider. His Olympus is way smaller/lighter than my Canon 5D so my hand holding will be at a minimum. Well done. Thank you