We had the change to take a look at Fstoppers’ video course: Mastering Macro Photography: The Complete Shooting and Editing Tutorial.
As I love nature and macro photography, I thought it would be a good idea to take this video course to see if I could deepen my understanding of macro photography. And share the experience of taking this quite expensive video course with you. With a price tag of $299 for a video course, your expectations will naturally be high for getting professional guidance on how to improve your macro photography.
The video course is taught by Andres Moline, who is an expert when it comes to macro photography and is very passionate when it comes to insects. It is a real joy to see his appreciation of the bugs he captures.
Andres teaches everything from the basics of macro photography, shooting in the studio, and then later takes us outside to shoot in more uncontrolled environments, like the jungle of Costa Rica.
It is not all about bugs, though. Andres also covers capturing fine art, jewelry/product, water droplets, and over to live insects. He also covers how to effectively use different backgrounds for macro photography both in the studio and outside.
After each section in the video course, you can follow his post-processing workflow in Photoshop / Lightroom. However, even Affinity Photo users interested in macro photography can learn a lot from his post-processing techniques, even though there is a slight difference in how to do it, the overall post-processing process is very similar.
The video course consists of 22 lessons, with a total of more than 12 hours of video content. So there is a lot of video content to dig into. However, after lesson 15 or 16, some of it is repetitive on the post-processing side, but still revealing a new post-processing technique or issue fixing now and then.
I would say that the video course’s emphasis is on the post-processing techniques used to manually focus stack images and make the photos look their absolute best. Andres really goes into great detail about how to process images.
I could have wished even more emphasis on in-the-field techniques, camera settings, or artificial light with macro photography. However, these topics are well explained to help you get home with significantly better shots if you are a beginner or intermediate macro photographer.
If you are about to start with focus stacking, this video course will ring all the bells and whistles for you. The video course doesn’t cover dedicated stacking software like Zerene Stacker or Helicon focus, though. However, manual blending focus stacked images are very well explained in depth. And this is one of the techniques that you help you advance in your macro photography.
So the bottom line. Did I learn something? Definitely. This video course helped me a lot in using more advanced macro photography techniques than before. Even though I have enjoyed macro photography for years, I have never done much focus stacking. Well, I tried but failed because of improper techniques both in the field and post-processing. This is probably the area where it helped me the most in advancing my skills. However, for others, it might be different. The course covers extension tubes, and you will learn a lot about magnification ratio how it affects your photos. My point is that there are valuable tips for all levels in this course.
Would I pay close to $300 for this video course?
When not knowing what I would get before watching the course, I would naturally be hesitant. But after watching the entire course and putting some of the techniques into action, then without a doubt, I feel it is well worth its price tag.
If you are interested, you can read more about the video course here on Fstoppers website.