Have you heard the phrase, “Write the book you want to read.“? Well, when I first flipped through this book after I received my free copy in the mail, my first thought was, Someone wrote my book!
The Complete Guide to Macro and Close-Up Photography by Cyrill Harnischmacher sets out to be a, “…comprehensive handbook on macro and close-up photography, offering both ambitious beginners and veteran photographers all the information they need to create great macro photographs.” (back cover blurb) How does the author set out to do this?
After an introduction and inspiring photographs, the book leads off with some essential photographic terminology, lingering properly at the key subjects of magnification and depth of field. There are useful charts for optimal apertures, exposure relationships, depth of field and calculations included. (I found only one error– in the magnification calculation page, the beetle’s size is listed as 12.5 cm instead of 12.5 mm, throwing the whole calculation out.)
After this, the book is arranged much in the same way as my macro workshops, beginning with cameras, equipment, and various means of obtaining magnification; then moving on through electronic flash, the qualities of light and into a useful chapter on studio and table-top photography. Notable is the section on dealing with various types of blur and another on how to hold your camera properly: two basic but essential components of doing photography right.