Macro Photography Workshop is a book (260 pages, ISBN 978 04 7011 876 4) published by Wiley & Sons publishing house, in 2007. It was written by Haje Jan Kamps, and is designed to be thorough and complete introduction into the magical world of macro photography.
The book is structured so you can read the first two chapters (introduction and equipment) to get the basics of macro photography. From there on, it's possible to cherry-pick topics you might be particularly interested in - including chapters focussing on lighting your subjects and digital manipulation. The rest of the book's 10 chapters are dedicated to specific genres of macro photography: everyday objects, flowers, textures, insects, abstract macro photography, and macrographing people. The book also has a comprehensive list of 'further reading' resources - all internet based - allowing you to further explore macro at your own pace.
As part of the Photo Workshop (see photoworkshop.com/books) series, every chapter ends in an assignment, designed to push the envelope on what the reader has learned throughout the chapter. Uniquely for the Photo Workshop series, the assignments can be uploaded to the Photo Workshop web site (for this book, http://photoworkshop.com/books/macro), so you can see how others have solved the assignments as they are working their way through the book. Using this form of collaboration means that you can get direct feed-back on your photos, which makes for an excellent learning tool.
Sounds great - where can I buy it?
The book's available from all half-decent book-stores, just search for my name, Macro Photography Workshop, or the ISBN number (978 04 7011 876 4). To see a photo of the book, or for handy links to Amazon, check out this page on Photocritic.
So, how did this book come about?
It's a funny 'ole story, actually - In 2005, I wrote a blog post about how you can build your own macro extension tube (link), which ended up on Digg and Slashdot, launching my website from obscurity. I was then approached by every geek's wet dream - Make magazine - who wanted to run the article in their magazine. From there, everything just went a little bit silly with the number of links. Around the same time, I started developing Photocritic.org (my photo blog) more seriously, with frequent posts.
Shortly afterward, I was contacted by someone at Wiley, asking me if I wanted to write a book about macro photography. Considering how writing a book has been a long-term dream of mine, I decided to go ahead and accept. I don't think I knew what I was getting myself into at the time - especially considering I only had about 20 macro photographs in my library, and that I'd never been involved in a similar project in my life. In the end, 232 photos ended up being used in the book (including about 40 from guest contributing photographers), and I took about ten times more photos than that over the 164 days I took to write the book - from word zero to the last word of the last page - 58,560 words later - and handing in my last chapter.
It's been a bit of a whirlwind, and now that the book is finally on sale, I'm positively thrilled. I saw my own book in a bookstore on Oxford Street in London the other day, and was choking back the tears. It really is an amazing experience. If I ever get the chance and have the energy, I'd definitely do another one.