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The Art of Seeing: Macro Techniques for Flowers and Plants

with Frans Lanting

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  •   Trailer

  •   01 Class introduction

    03:17
  •   14 Live Photo Critique

    53:43

Class duration: 5h 5m

See all 15 lessons
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  • 86% recommended

    69 student reviews

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About The Class


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. 

Topics Covered


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class introduction

    03:17
  2. 02

    Macro Photography Overview

    16:27
  3. 03

    Playing With Plants

    49:33
  4. 04

    The Importance of Light

    36:29
  5. 05

    Using Filters, Reflectors, & Diffusers

    07:56
  6. 06

    Working With Afternoon Light

    10:18
  7. 07

    The Lighting Toolkit Wrap Up

    16:15
  8. 08

    Why Macro Photography?

    04:08
  9. 09

    Create A Simple Indoor Macro Set

    37:10
  10. 10

    Macro Lighting From Below

    19:58
  11. 11

    Advanced Macro Lighting Techniques

    16:15
  12. 12

    Macro Photo Accessories

    06:14
  13. 13

    Downloading Macro Images To Lightroom

    16:08
  14. 14

    Live Photo Critique

    53:43
  15. 15

    Frans' Studio Tour & Final Thoughts

    11:30

Meet Your Expert

Frans Lanting

Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world. Lanting has received numerous awards for his work, and has been inducted by Prince ... read more

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Bonus Material

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Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • HD Bonus Video: Student Story - Doug
  • HD Bonus Video: Student Story - Kate
  • HD Bonus Video: Patterns & Multiple Exposures

86% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • JIll C.

    April 2016

    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

    April 2016

    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!

  • Creativelive Student

    April 2016

    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!

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