Capturing Nature Close Up

♥♥♥♥♥ Jess – I had a great day.  It’s amazing what’s out there right under your nose, if you know where to look – Nick knows.  I would never have thought of using some of the techniques that we were shown.  Thank you.

♥♥♥♥♥ Arthur – Nick has an encyclopedic knowledge of nature.  He is a terrific tutor, I just never knew there was so  much out there on our own doorstep.  Lunch was great too!

♥♥♥♥  Julie – I was really pleased with some of the shots I took on the course.  Nick’s guidance was just right.  He certainly knows his stuff and is passionate about nature.  I feel truly inspired and cant wait to get out in the field with my camera again to see what I can find.

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Capturing Nature Close Up
4.8 based on 23 reviews


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

This course is for those 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.

Course Content

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.

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