Close-up: Resources for Further Information
For a number of weeks now, I've tried to cover at least the basics of the wonderful world of macro photography. While I have covered a fair bit, I certainly haven't covered everything and some readers may be wondering what good resources may exist for more information.
Since it first came out back in back in 1987, John Shaw's Closeups in Nature has been considered the bible of macro photography for nature shooters. John is one of the best writers out there, and this is one of his best. While I do wish he'd release an updated edition, much of the fundamentals are still the same as they've always been. Some of the coverage of manual flash calculations in particular seem a bit dated now, and don't expect any coverage of digital gear, but you won't find a better coverage of most other aspects of macro photography anywhere.
Perhaps the best recent book on the subject is Gilles Martin's Macrophotography: Learning from a Master. John Shaw's explanations are probably easier to understand, but if your copy of Closeups in Nature is starting to get dog-eared, do yourself a favor and get this book. With over 300 excellent color photos and the text to explain everything quite well, this is an excellent book on macro. Techniques covered range from simple to much more elaborate so there's something here for everyone.
With two good books on macro, Paul Harcourt Davies is another author worth checking out. While The Complete Guide to Close Up & Macro Photography provides general coverage of the subject, I prefer his new book Nature Photography Close Up. This new work is notable also for it's coverage of digital close-up techniques. He has a lot of information on field techniques for various subjects as well.
Other books worth taking a look at include Nancy Rotenberg and Michael Lustbader's How to Photograph Close-ups in Nature and Digital Photography Expert: Close-Up Photography by Michael Freeman
If you're a Nikon shooter and are looking for a great place to keep up with what is new or ask a question, you might want to drop by the Nikonians Micro, Macro & Close-up Photography discussion forum. Not only is it a great source of information, it's also one of the friendlier online communities out there.
You might want to investigate what is available in your own area as well. For example, here in Seattle, the Mountaineers offers a Basic Photography Course each spring including a half-day macro workshop that I currently teach. Their Photo Lecture Series also often covers macro among it's various topics.
While arguably the best way to improve your close-up skills is to get and practice, hopefully the sources I've listed will help to answer any questions you may still have after going through the articles presented here.