Close-Up: An Introduction to Macro Photography, with Bill Fortney

In this first installment, photographer Bill Fortney takes you through the basics of macro photography, the equipment to use, and some of the techniques needed to get as close up as you want to get.

Close-up photography (or macro photography) gives us a scientific view of the world around us. In this first installment, photographer Bill Fortney takes you through the basics of macro photography, the equipment to use, and some of the techniques needed to get as close up as you want to get. In later courses, Bill gets more in-depth but this installment serves as a great overview for beginners or a perfect refresher with plenty of tips for more experienced macro photographers.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 01:37)

Meet Bill Fortney and the people who influenced him.

Lesson 2: Getting the Basics (Duration 05:00)

An overview on the principles/ratios of macro photography.

Lesson 3: Ratios and Equipment (Duration 09:45)

Learn the difference between a tight shot and a true close-up. Plus, Bill goes over the equipment he uses to get his shots.

Lesson 4: Lens Demo and Working Distance (Duration 17:26)

Bill starts off with a 2:1 shot, discusses manual focus and takes you through the shot with each lens and extension tubes.

Lesson 5: Depth of Field (Duration 10:12)

Bill demonstrates the minutiae of the depth of field he works in by photographing a ruler.

Lesson 6: Lighting (Duration 08:12)

Light your subjects with simple equipment such as a desk lamp, one flash, or a flashlight.

Lesson 7: Extra Special Advice (Duration 05:32)

Bill shares some important advice and a few tips he's picked up along the way to help you get the best shot possible.

Lesson 8: You Don't Need Expensive Equipment (Duration 11:36)

Bill shows you how to take great macro shots with a point and shoot, some lens filters, a rather inexpensive, older lens, and even a lens mounted backwards.

Meet Your Instructor: Bill Fortney

Bill is one of America's premier photographer's specializing in Landscape, close-up, nature, Americana, and travel. In his 44 year career, Bill has been a High School teacher and football coach,…


  1. First of all, Id like to congratulate the wonderful macro course. I always wanted learn about macro photography, and this Bill Fortney overview was quite impressive. the reason is that he could show all the possibilities with low cost equipement. Second, the techniques and how to get the good results in macro. Finally, the easy way teaching as the only a visual video lesson can show. Thank you very much for such approach! I learnt a lot!

  2. Excellent. Practical, understandable, and very enjoyable. Also noted is the lack of photographer "snobbery" - Bill has practical suggestions for those of us who do not have inlimited budgets, but still want to improve our close up photography. Much appreciated thankyou

  3. This is an excellent course for anyone wanting to get into Macro. Bill ran through all the demos so well that even a person with very basic photography skills could understand. Thanks for this wonderful course.

  4. The Macro Course with the gentleman from Kentucky was overall excellent. During the lighting part however, I thought he might touch upon ring lights which he did not. Otherwise, a great course!

  5. Absolutely awesome video. I learned so much about how to get into close up photography. The instructor discussed practical information and how to achieve awesome photos without spending one's life savings. This is such a great feature for those who want to get into photography but can't afford the $$ associated with macro/micro lenses. Love this guy!

  6. This was the first course I took from Kelby Training and I have to say it was very informative. Bill gave the best demonstration of depth of field I've ever seen. He's extremely knowledgeable and has great teaching technique. If you're looking for a class about Macro Photography, I highly recommend this one - it was great! Thanks!

  7. This was a very informative course; not only for techniques, but for equipment. He presents the information in a way that's easy to comprehend. Great depth of field information as well. I'm looking forward to putting of his techniques in to practice!! Thanks!!

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