Capturing Nature Close Up Photography Course


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ONE DAY COURSE            10:00AM – 4:30PM

The Capturing Nature Close up Photography Course is for photographers keen to capture creative, bold images of plants, invertebrates and other small subjects in their gardens and out in nature. Small really can look beautiful once you learn to spot the many wonderful, but easily overlooked, photo opportunities all around us and how to make the most of them.

It will show students how close up photography can be approached in a variety of ways using different kinds of lens and light source, not all of them specialist, and can create very different kinds of image depending on taste, context and budget limitations. The wide angle macro technique, which creates bold images of small subjects along with their background for context, will be demonstrated as well as more traditional macro photography for close-up portraits of plants and invertebrates, and how a telephoto lens offers another stylish way to capture subjects in close-up.

All our courses are run in our own purpose built training studio, and following an afternoon photoshoot in the fields near Lacock village you will return to ‘The Old Clubhouse’ to review your images. We limit the course to a maximum of 6 students to enable the tutor to help everyone individually.

The course is run by Dr. Nick Upton, a multi-award winning, much-published wildlife photographer, based near Lacock, with vast experience in capturing eye-catching images of nature in miniature.

Good close up photography blends creative appreciation of composition, use of light and colour with good camera control to ensure well framed, focused and exposed images of small subjects with an appropriate depth of focus. Such skills help all forms of photography and are critical for macro.

To get the most out of the Capturing Nature Close up Photography Course, it is recommended that students know how to control aperture, shutter speed and ISO and understand how these settings interact and affect an image. These skills are taught on our Beginners Digital Photography Course.

  • Photography by Dr Nick Upton
  • Photography by Dr Nick Upton
  • Photography by Dr Nick Upton
  • Photography by Dr Nick Upton
  • Photography by Dr Nick Upton


This Capturing Nature in Close up Photography Course is a mixture of classroom-based illustrated presentations, practical demonstrations and hands on practice. You will have the opportunity to try out some of the techniques in a practical environment and review and discuss your images with the tutor.

You will learn:
● Techniques for using true macro lenses, close-focusing wide angle lenses, telephoto lenses, adapted standard lenses and special viewfinders.
● Using narrow depth of focus to isolate subjects and deep focus to place subjects in their habitat.
● Compositional tips and use of colour when photographing flowers and bugs.
● Use of natural light, reflectors and flash.
● Field craft whether in your garden, flower meadows, woodland or seashore, recognising photogenic subjects, and getting close enough to photograph them.

We will aslo cover:
● What equipment can be used for close-up and macro photography, some of it very basic, some of it more specialist depending on budget and level of obsession!
● How to choose approaches to create impactful images that suit your tastes and capture revealing, attractive images of nature in miniature.
● How to ensure your best images are well focused, framed and exposed, though experimentation is encouraged.
● How to find subjects in the local natural environment.


Capturing Nature in Close up Photography Course rated overall 4.6 out of 5.0 based on 14 reviews
♥♥♥♥♥          M.S.  – Very Good Course. Very enthusiastic tutor passes on his enthusiasm for the subject to students. I came away buzzing and very pleased with the photos I produced. Very hard to quantify what I learnt I just did. Make sure you have good working knowledge of your camera and how to use it before attending and you will have a great time!
♥♥♥♥♥   A.T. This close up macro photography course opened my eyes to the macro natural world of small beasties, flora and fauna – ripe with photographic opportunities in my own back yard.
♥♥♥♥  D.E. – Really enjoyed the capturing nature in close up macro photography course, Nick’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject is evident, well done. This could easily be a 2-day course with more time spent on Flash techniques, and options for gaining greater depth of field/sharper pictures.
♥♥♥♥♥   E.S  –  Splendid course,as ever. I now have a much better idea of what kit I need to save up for, but also that there is still a lot I can achieve with a few modest additions to the camera bag! Many thanks for a most enjoyable day.
♥♥♥♥  L.D  –  A very enjoyable course with an extremely knowledgeable tutor. I came away with lots of new ideas!


We run this course several times each year, mainly at weekends.  We get booked up pretty quickly as we have a maximum number of 6 students on each course.

The dates we currently have places available for booking are shown above. Just choose the date you would like to come and add to cart. Payment may be made on our secure website by credit or debit card or by calling 01249 730571 to book and pay by card over the the phone.

If you would like to book but none of the available dates is suitable then maybe a one to one or one to two session could be arranged, please use the contact form to let us know.

We aim to start at 10:00 am so ask you to arrive from 9:45 am for a welcome tea or coffee. The day ends at around 4:30 pm.

THE TUTOR - Dr Nick Upton

Nick Upton is one of the UK’s leading wildlife photographers, with close-up photography a major element in his wide-ranging work. His images have appeared in many books and magazines worldwide, including National Geographic, and they’ve illustrated five feature articles and many other sections in BBC Wildlife magazine since 2014. He was a guest photographer on the prestigious British conservation photography project 2020VISION and he’s twice won a major category at the British Wildlife Photography Awards to add to recognition at the European Nature Images and International Garden Photographer of the Year Awards.  His work has been part of several national touring exhibitions and has been archived as part of the Creative Wiltshire project (

Nick has been fascinated by wildlife of all kinds since childhood, began photographing it as a teenager and has been sharing his passion for nature professionally through many media for over 25 years.  Positive portrayals of the  “Little Creatures” around us are a recurring theme in his work.  After reading and teaching Biology at university, he helped the BBC to film some invertebrates he was studying for a British wildlife TV series. Soon afterwards he became David Attenborough’s series researcher at the BBC for four years on the BAFTA winning “Trials of Life” series, before producing his own wildlife films for the BBC and other major broadcasters worldwide, including award-winning films on Ants and Beetles. Since 2012 he’s concentrated on wildlife stills and video photography to capture attractive images of nature and to document UK conservation projects through his images and writing.

Nick is happiest when crawling around photographing plants and bugs and has always enjoyed passing on his enthusiasm and passion for nature through teaching.  His aim as a tutor is to demonstrate a variety of creative ways to capture bold images of plants and small creatures for others, in turn, to enjoy.

Many thousands of Nick’s wildlife images can be found online generally and within his main agent’s sites: and


Once you arrive we look after you for the whole day. You won’t have to go out to find somewhere to get lunch or bring sandwiches!

Included in the price is:

● Refreshments (coffee, tea etc)
● Buffet lunch
● Training Notes

Additional information

Course Dates

13 May 2018, 15 September 2018