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PHOTO 75 — Introduction to Close-Up Photography

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jul 25—Aug 29
Time: 7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jul 27
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $385
Instructor(s): Joel Simon, John Lambert
Limit: 30
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Jul 25—Aug 29
6 weeks
Refund Date
Jul 27
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Joel Simon, John Lambert
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
This course invites students of all skill levels to photographically explore the details in our surroundings that are often overlooked. We will focus on appreciating the visual delights of “seeing” close up and revealing familiar elements in unfamiliar ways. Close-up photography transcends the constraints of true macro photography and can encompass interesting images made from very small subjects (plants, foods, feathers, insects) as well as the abstract details of larger objects (architecture, geological features). We will learn to blend the technical capabilities of close-up photography with the traditional elements of compelling imagery, and we will study how composition and light become even more important facets in the realm of close-up imagery. We will learn to control depth of field and “figure to ground” separation and examine the roles of color, contrast, shadow, texture, and form to create intriguing compositions—both simple and complex. We will also explore the post-capture world of “making” the photograph as we further refine our images using contemporary digital editing tools, and we will post and comment on our photos. Using simple variations of saturation, exposure, and cropping, we will work to transcend the role of documentary photography and gently explore more artistic expressions. By the end of the course, students will be able to capture compelling close-up photographs wherever they go.

All cameras are welcome. Mobile devices will benefit from optional auxiliary close-up lenses.

Documentary and Fine Art Photographer

Joel Simon studied with Leo Holub and has worked as an editorial and fine art photographer for four decades. He has lectured on more than 65 trips with Stanford’s Travel/Study program. His work has been published in Vanity Fair, Time, GEO, Condé Nast Traveler, STANFORD magazine, and Sunset. His work can be viewed at joelsimonimages.com.


John Lambert has been photographing for over 50 years. He has a background in engineering and has embraced both digital capture and editing from their earliest beginnings, developing digital workflows since the late 1990s. Lambert's work has received numerous awards, including being selected for the annual Yosemite Renaissance Competition and Exhibition. His work can be viewed on Instagram @brightonjel and at lambertphotographic.com.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.