The Art of Seeing: Macro Techniques for Flowers and Plants

Lesson 12 of 15

Macro Photo Accessories

 

The Art of Seeing: Macro Techniques for Flowers and Plants

Lesson 12 of 15

Macro Photo Accessories

 

Lesson Info

Macro Photo Accessories

There was a question earlier about mobile photography using this the camera function in your smartphones and I didn't have a chance to answer that. But this is actually my new favorite camera. It enables me to do panos as we're all sitting here in the studio (laughter) and even the screen behind me, and I get a little bit of back exercise in the process as well. (laughter) Now, seriously these are amazing devices and it took me a while to latch on to the photography potential of 'em but my iPhone I use as much as I use my DSLR these days. Now what does that tell you about where things are going? So, the person who asked the question about mobile photography, I'll say the answer is, right on. Are you ready for to start with a question? Yes, can I Yes. There was a question earlier about, about GPS attachments for your DSLR camera. It was a question that came here from the audience during one of our breaks. And, here's the answer. Nikon makes a dedicated GPS attachment for its DSLR...

cameras but it's kind of an antiquated gadget. It connects to the to the camera using a cable and it's kind of awkward. There's a company in Hong Kong called DI-GPS that makes this wonderful unit that goes straight into the ten prong outlet on your DSLR cameras and then you don't have to use a cable. And you can still add your remote release to the front of it. I highly recommend you consider this. And for me, having a GPS capability attached to my camera's a godsend 'cause I travel so much and I don't always have time to add metadata to the pictures as I generate them. So, the GPS of course automatically geotags every single image. And then, as I'm traveling along the coast of Greenland, which we did last year, with all these impossible names for the forte and the inlet, now I can do it later on. So, it's a must have thing. Franz, speaking of Greenland you do so much work out in the field. Can you talk to us a little bit about your workflow for backing up when you're out in the jungle and you need to make sure that your photos are gonna make it home. Yes, I use a MacBook Pro as my as my tool for downloading pictures in the field. I download images into Adobe Lightroom and we're gonna talk a little bit more about that in a few minutes. But then I back them up on hard drives. And, these are hard drives with a capacity of two terabyte and I protect 'em in these little cases 'cause these are the crowned jewels of every trip. And then I back 'em on to a second hard drive and then when I come back from a trip to the studio, they go on to the server that we house in the studio with a capacity of 30-40 terabytes. But I always feel a little vulnerable because of course inside these hard drives are spinning disks and the question is not if your hard drive will fail. The question is when will it fail. So the new solid state technology is quite remarkable. We already see that entering into our computers but look at this tiny little thing here made by SanDisk. This is a solid state hard drive capacity of 240 gigabytes and it weighs nothing. It fits into my pocket and it costs only $100. And, if it's $100 now, it will probably be $50 next year and the capacity will be doubled or quadrupled. So this is the next wave of technology that is going to come within reach to any of us interested in safely backing up pictures. Great. All right. Is there any other equipment that we haven't covered yet that you'd like to talk a little bit about? Well the cards, 'cause that's also part of the work flow. Great. I keep them in these wallets and we've all been in situations where you're not quite sure whether you've offloaded a card or not. My method is very simple. I turn the cards over, back side facing forward when I've downloaded 'em and they go back into the wallet. At the end of every shoot, I double check whether I've downloaded everything when I get home. I do not spend a lot of time in reconciling content while I'm traveling. And I've been in too many situations where I ran into trouble with technical issues. I might have duplicated a download. So I make sure that I always have more cards with me than I could possibly need so that I can reconcile things when I get home. I travel quite a bit these days with people who've joined us on exotic trips to Greenland or Galapagos or come to Africa with us. And the worst situation for you to be in is after a long day out and after two gin and tonics around a campfire you then have to deal with problems of downloading. If you've got a problematic card, you need to be able to put it to the side, add a new card to your camera and worry about reconciling things after you get home.

Class Description


The beauty of nature runs deep. Every growing thing hides whorls, patterns, and subtle shadings of color that escape the cursory glance. Macro photographers are driven to capture these secret details, but it can be hard to master the techniques that allow them to truly evoke nature at its best.

Join renowned National Geographic photographer and naturalist Frans Lanting for this class as he walks you through the Arboretum at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
You’ll learn:

  • How to take great impressionistic shots freehand
  • How to use combinations of natural light, flash, and light modifiers
  • How to set up beautiful and controlled images
Frans Lanting has documented wildlife from the Amazon to Antarctica, and has made a career of recording the beauty of nature in vivid, transporting imagery. In this class, you’ll learn how he has distilled the quiet joy of discovering hidden beauty, and bring it home with you. Best of all, you'll be able to apply these macro photography approaches and techniques in the field or even at home with a bouquet of flowers on your kitchen table. 

Reviews

JIll C.
 

I had the pleasure of participating in this class as part of the live studio audience in the Creative Live San Francisco studios. I really enjoyed the format in which two students had been pre-selected to visit the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum for a photo shoot with Frans Lanting about a week in advance of the class; then the videos were edited and played out during the class. Frans stopped the video frequently to clarify and supplement the information provided, so we weren't just sitting in a room watching pre-recorded material. Nor were we just listening to him lecture for hours. It was actually a surprisingly dynamic format. I also enjoyed the final session in which student-submitted images were critiqued by Frans and edited by Jim Cetechi (Creative Live host) real-time. It was interesting to learn how our images could be improved with just a few simple techniques, e.g. cropping, contrast, highlights etc. - all done in Lightroom. Frans helped us to see the potential for perfection in each image. I was thrilled when he didn't find anything to "fix" in my images :) Frans seems to truly enjoy "playing with plants", and helped us think about how we can use our photography to portray the beauty and significance of the natural world. I like the fact that he helped us to think about the potential of photography as more than just a hobby. He is an enthusiastic and personable trainer, well-versed in all aspects of photography, not just macro photos. I can't wait to add some of his techniques to my photography arsenal.

North San Francisco Bay
 

This workshop will give you everything you need to start macro photography, appreciate macro photography, and/or take your personal skill set to the next level. Frans really is a fantastic instructor whose love of teaching is obvious and infectious. He provides you the technical tools, inspiration, and has a unique ability to help you refine your own vision while simultaneously broadening the possibilities of that same vision. His respect for individual artistry coupled with his fined tuned eye of decades of experience puts him in a very elite class of photography instructors. You can expect to have a list of gear (much of out inexpensive and very effective) to put on your wish list as well as the urge to immediately go out and try what you have learned. If you have gone so far as to read this whole recommendation then go ahead and purchase the class. You won't regret it. Have fun!

a Creativelive Student
 

Frans is an inspiration. Not only is he an incredible photographer, but also he is an equally wonderful teacher. His ability to explain both the simple and complex in easy terms -- as well is the ease with which he shows as he speaks -- makes learning from him a treat. You can also see him come alive with excitement as he 'plays with plants' which makes you all the more excited. So glad I was able to take this course with him! Thanks, CL!