Book Review: Digital Macro Photography by Ross Hoddinott

Digital Macro Photography by Ross Hoddinott starts by describing digital photography in general and the technology found in digital cameras. Various categories of digital cameras are discussed regarding their usefulness for closeup work.

The second chapter introduces various lenses, tripods, flash units, and other accessories useful for macro photography.
The third chapter teaches basic techniques to control depth of field and subject motion, and introduces image composition aspects.

Light and color are the subjects of the fourth chapter. Hoddinott explains various lighting techniques for compelling closeup photos and examines the impact of color on the image.

The next chapters are devoted to various subjects that make for interesting close-up photos:

  • Items found around the house, such as fruits and vegetables, flowers, glass, toys, etc. for still-life photos in chapter five.
  • Butterflies, moths, dragonflies, amphibians, reptiles, and other fauna as well as various flora are discussed in chapter six.
  • Textures and patterns both natural and artificial are explored in chapter seven.

Chapter eight explains basic image editing techniques, printing, and archiving.

The sample images are quite beautiful and inspiring. I don’t know why they are all captioned with file names – I thought it might be a website tie-in, but that does not seem to be the case.

The text is clear and concise. Specific digital photography jargon is explained, as well as basic photographic techniques. This makes the text easily accessible for beginners.

For an intermediate or advanced photographer the first few chapters offer few new insights, the last chapter is superfluous. I really do wonder why so many books on photography seem to have to contain a little bit of material on editing digital images which would be better suited for a dedicated book on the subject? I don’t see books on editing digital images with a chapter on photography. 😉

Chapters five, six, and seven are well worth reading for anyone new to macro photography, even with an extensive photographic background.

I believe the book would have profited from a stronger focus on macro photography instead of being a book for beginning photographers who start out with macro photography. It is nonetheless an excellent book for anyone getting started in macro photography. I found it inspiring and a good way to get into macro work.

4 stars (out of 5)

4 stars (out of 5)

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